well a guy could buy a lot with 8.3 billion in cash....might not have to settle for some "smallish texas bank", right? And let's not overlook the fact that the CFR payout ratio is only 52% of earnings, so I think they can afford to both pay you your dividend and hang on to that 8.3 billion on the balance sheet for the time being even if all that cash wasn't earning a dime. You'd be right that all that cash isn't earning in an optimal fashion at present, but I'm pretty certain you'll see that cash going to work when the situation is right. Banking is a funny business. The government wants banks to lend, yet interest rates this low mean that they can't get as much on loans, while the risk remains as high or higher than ever.(100% default is 100% default) So healthy banks are sitting on cash and looking for opportunities that are worth investing in, and they just aren't seeing what they are looking for yet, on either the lending or aquisition side of things. But one or the other or both will fall into place eventually, and that's when you want a pile of cash. I'm kind of the same way as an investor....it pains me a bit to not have my cash working, but I'm not going to put it in something that ties it up paying me a fraction of a percent when it's plain that interest rates have nowhere to go but up, and I'm not going to buy stocks that I consider overvalued, and right now that's mostly what I'm seeing. Companies like Frost are the closest thing I can find to a safe haven that will earn me a bit in the meantime. But the minute I can buy CD's paying 3% I'm gonna bank it all and go fishing.
this is from the 10K, which I realize hardly anyone reads...you probably do, but this is for the "hey tell me a good stock to buy" crowd. I have modified it slightly to be readable on yahoo, but the numbers are intact.
Cumulative Total Returns on $100 Investment Made on December 31, 2005, as of 12/31/2010
during an economic crisis in which every sector got beat up, and none worse than banking, CFR got the job done for shareholders. why I like them. ---------------------- OT - too early for the Peaches - I haven't checked with Hutton's yet but it will probably be june - I skip the Fest anymore because they always seem to manage to have it on the hottest, most humid day of the year, and nowdays I spend that day either enveloped in air conditioning or in a more northern clime.