Earnings include an insurance recovery of $3.5mm net of taxes which adds about $.05 to quarterly earnings.Core earnings were probably closer to $.17.Conference call highlights indicate that merger going well,yield curve slowly improving,asset quality OK,and no sub-prime exposure.That being said the CEO and CFO seemed to give the impression that tough sledding will continue.Increasing the dividend in the teth of this downdraft is a god sign.On a macro level,all financials are being painted will the same brush.Are we at or near the bottom I don't know.But there are now thrifts that I own that are now trading at or near book value with stable or improving earnings trends.Personally I'm going to start adding to a few positions.
When the yield curve improves [by the fed cutting rates or mortgage rates inc.] all thrift CEO's will look a lot smarter.If you are holding some cash it is certainly a great time to buy. Banks like PFS, ISBC, HCBK and BNCL are great buys and they are very solid. Their loan portfolios are conservative and very safe. If they had made riskier loans their past earnings would have been better but the conservative approach looks pretty good now.