I disagree on one front, and thats BBK is definately a growth bank. There saying is "if we ain't growing, we ain't surviving." They got a whole group that does nothing but acquisitions. I still hold hope that they move bigger into Virginia and Maryland over the next few months.
I still say they offer the public a great product with superior service (BBT has a very loyal following). I also don't see 70 by the split date in July, but mark my word, after the split, this one continues major growth!
Its sad, but I'll bet the big boys have been salivating over this bank. How long can Allison hold out?
I've heard from three sources that BBT, ASO are both bidding for FATN. Who, by the way, just sucked up 5 small banks in TN in just 2 months. Their ripe for the picking. I think the stretch toward MD may not be the case. Go west young man.
I think that the chances of BBK buying someone else is very high. But - They must strike now while stock is high (maybe I was hasty in predicting that it would not reach $70, but I don't think so unless market in general goes nuts). They (and others) have significant pressure on earnings - many mergers, Y2K, slowing loan growth, etc. I do think that the "talent" they may be losing is not the heads of the banks/S&L's they are buying. These former exec.s don't know today's banking (that's why they had to sell!) and they are very expensive to keep around. Better to pension off for big bucks that then are finite and buried in the goodwill of the merger. The real cost is in their slow reactions and BBK can not afford that now. These are good guys (Aston was really good guy), but not the right guys! Finally, will Allison allow another really good, up to date banker into his mgt. team?? He hasn't so far - the power still resides with long time BB&T'ers. That's not the end of the world, but they have limited experience in running an operation the size BBK has become - and it shows. Keep an eye on the next quarter's efficiency ratio. It may tell what's coming. I bet it isn't any better and that will have a negative impact on the stock!
Finally, they have lost some strong middle management bankers recently. Aston and Morgan don't count because of their large salaries and rain makers status. These sre folks that have grown up at BBK. Not many (any?) SNB folks left. Why?? These were the folks in the trenches doing deals, adding accounts, and selling fee services.
Better to confuse the issue with a merger now - come on John - go for a merger of equals. Stock splits are nice and dividend increases are real, but I want to see BBK soar. Do something!