Anything's possible. If someone's buying on inside information, for whatever reason, that's bad. Very bad! How would you like to be the seller only to find out that someone "stole" your shares by illegally buying on inside information? I'd love to see a buyout, and that's certainly been the trend in recent years. There was a small bank in Stamford (CT) that went by the name of Cornerstone. They sold out to New Alliance which was very quickly bought out by First Niagara. I wonder how long it'll be before First Niagara has to change their signs. Cornerstone was founded and controlled by a family that had a long history of building banks and then selling them at enormous profits. Anyone who ever bought Cornerstone did so with the expectation that the bank would eventually be sold for very big bucks. The Reader family has made millions doing that for many years. That was not a case of anyone buying on inside information because everyone knew full well what the family history was. PBCT is a totally different story. Publicly, at least, management has always given the impression that they are focused on staying independent and building the bank as a stand-alone institution. If anyone knows otherwise and is buying the stock on inside knowledge of a buyout, that's clearly illegal and very dirty. If any employee of the bank, from the top management on down to the mail-room clerk, knows something that is not public information and is buying the stock on the basis of that information, they should go to prison.
My previous posting should not be taken to imply in any way whatsoever that anything the Readers did was the least bit illegal, unethical or even questionable. They are just plain SMART! They made their money the old fashioned way; they earned it! Anyone who owned stock in any of their banks and made money by riding their coattails, was also smart. They never made a secret of their business model. Build a successful bank and sell it at a big profit. Nothing wrong with that.
I think you're onto something. At this rate, a value fund or M&A shop could accumulate 5% in a week or so. I have a feeling that earnings due in a few weeks will surprise to the upside. There's lots of value here so it's not really a surprise that something positive is due to happen eventually.