I really do not think BB&T will sell. I worked for them for one year before leaving. I am familiar enough with the company to feel they will they will not sell. Here are my reasons:
1. They run the company like a community bank...giving decision-making and power to individual Presidents. While this is great for their culture. I do not feel it would be a good match for a Top 4 bank like Citi, BOA (too much overlap), and JPM. Wells Fargo is always in the buying end of a rumor and it has never materialized...i.e. National City back in 2000.
2. BB&T does not offer the best rates on loans. For example, the closing costs and interest are much higher than most banks. I feel a large amount of their loan portfolio would be refinanced if a new parent company takes over.
3. John Allison and Kelly King have been with the company for over 25 years each. Both of them are born and bred North Carolina guys. I cannot see them selling the company away to a community that cares too much about it.
4. The banking regions are not exactly the most attractive. Yes, they are in Atlanta now and the have a presence in D.C. But so what!!! They are also in Bowling Green, KY. Not exactly my idea of a match made in heaven.
5. BB&T employees on the platform (selling position in a retail bank) do not have an Investment License. Banks such as Citi, Bank of America, and JPM require this of their candidates. The significance of this is that you would obtain a much higher candidate.
Here are three bank I would Purchase over BB&T. PNC Bank (I also worked there), Fifth Third, National City, and U.S. Bank.
BB&T is a decent stock...I am neutral on buying it.
If you truly want to study a bank....check out the FDIC data and see what the trends are if the bank is gaining or losing market share and listen to the conference calls.
You are mistaken on a few points here. BB&T has always been larger than Regions until their most recent merger. Even so, BB&T is STILL almost the same size. We have $120 billion in assets while they have $140 billion. On a fixed percentage basis, we are much closer in size to Regions than either of the last two banks which they have merged with, and both of those banks took over shop. Since JA and BB&T would have much more clout than the other banks Regions has mergerd with, terms very favorable to BB&T could be worked out (compared to deals Union Planters and Amsouth managed).
Another point that you may not have considered has to do with the future of the new Regions. Several analysts have expressed extreme skepticism that this deal can possibly work, and it is also a widely known fact in banking circles that the Amsouth CEO taking over is maybe the worst in the entire industry. IF you factor BB&T present rate of growth compared to what Amsouth CEO or Regions has been doing, BB&T will be larger in 2 years or so anyway. Add it all up, and BB&T will come to the table with lots of weight to throw around.
BB&T is destined to be the largest bank in the Southeast within 2-3 years then. Wachovia and BoA will continue to grow on the national scale. SunTrust will sell to Citi or JPM within one to two years if they are lucky. If not, then shareholders need to bail out.
Banks have bought small/medium regional brokerages to build an investment banking presence, boost brokerage sales, and help non-interest income. Too much culture difference for a BBT/Nat'l brokerage moe. Citi/Smith Barney is only large deal I remember and the brokersge CEO replaced John *****, then Dimon lost out, went to Ohio, now back as CEO in NY.
We all know it's not unheard of for banks to merger with investment banks. My question is, how long can BB&T continue to exist as a "superregional"? If it happens, JA probably will not be at the helm, in which case your point about the salaries would be a moot point.
JA as I recall spoke of further acquisition, but if my feeble mind is correct, I think he mentioned no more in 06.
Due diligence will determine. I like George Welsh at home, but Al Groh I dunno, if betting I would take Pack in close game. I could lose that bet. Regions and Am South, if raking in a share of Katrina damage repair might be a lucrative growth stock worth looking into.
OK Stil, BB&T doesn't need to be for sale or MOE to get Regions. We'll just buy them in a no-premium deal. Think then of the footprint, boon for Winston-Salem, superior secruities division . . You like?
When was the last time that a superregional like BB&T entered into a MOE with an investment bank?? Anytime in the last 20 years? If that has happened, then I'd like to know about it.
A BB&T-Bear Stearns merger in any way is highly unlikely. Take a look at the managements' salary at Bear Stearns and tell me what you think JA would have to say about that.