should be a net positive rather than a negative as the accretion of several past deals will be larger than dilution from new deal(s). Anything larger than stated size would be a MOE and non-dilutive by definition. Other earnings positives include (1)excellent asset quality and lower provisioning compared to peers; (2)non-interest income growing above peer average (32% year over year)and faster than non-imterest expense (5% year over year); (3)EPS growth rate ahead of peers; (4) solid top line revenue growth; (5) operating in strong southeastern growth markets.
Other factors include: low institutional ownership relative to peers (probably half), growing record and reputation as a top performer in the industry. The current P/E is 18 - even if it doesn't expand based on investor quality discrimination. Back of an envelope math - at $2.20 eps for 2000 (13% growth rate compared to 19.5% for first six months of 1999), you get $40 rounded. You can argue that EPS and P/E may be higher or lower. However, all this plus fact that the stock has languished between $35 and $40 for a number of months leads me to feel positive about 12 - 18 month outlook (assuming no external negatives i.e. China attacks Taiwan, N Korea goes crazy or as I said earlier, rates spike upward, which would delay the move).
These factors may satisfy me more than anyone else, but I feel good about the long term outlook for this stock. And I like a dividend that grows in double digits annually in a low single digit inflation economy, whether the stock goes up or down! My income from this stock is up 13% this year over last.