Hudson City Bancorp (HCBK) Stocks Falls After Fed Approves M&T Bank Merger

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Hudson City Bancorp (HCBK) were falling 3.8% to $9.78 with heavy trading volume on Thursday after the Federal Reserve approved M&T Bank's (MTB) acquisition of the bank after several years.

The U.S. central bank approved the merger of the two banks exactly 1,129 days after the $3.7 billion deal was announced, according to the Wall Street Journal. The three-year wait was the longest delay for a U.S. deal valued at more than $1 billion.

The Fed included a disclaimer in its 40-page approval for the deal that reflected compliance issues at M&T, according to the Journal.

"The Board took the highly unusual step of permitting the case to pend while M&T addressed its weaknesses," the Fed said in the approval. "The Board does not expect to take such action in future cases."

In the future, the Fed will expect banks with compliance issues to withdraw merger applications until they can be resolved.

About 10.5 million shares of Hudson City Bancorp were traded by 12:36 p.m. Thursday, well above the company's average trading volume of about 3.5 million shares a day.

TheStreet Ratings team rates HUDSON CITY BANCORP INC as a Buy with a ratings score of B-. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

We rate HUDSON CITY BANCORP INC (HCBK) a BUY. This is driven by several positive factors, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. Among the primary strengths of the company is its expanding profit margins over time. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat weak growth in earnings per share.

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