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Umpqua Holdings Corporation Message Board

  • weareafterthesamerainbow weareafterthesamerainbow May 23, 2002 11:33 AM Flag

    smallbanks & gensdejustice -- you've

    been kind of quiet here. Any speculation on who Umpqua might be looking at to bump off next?

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    • Good question. I think that UMPQ is pursuing an "I-5 strategy" similar to WCBO: expand into markets along Interstate 5 in Oregon and Washington. UMPQ wants more presence in Portland and would love to make the jump into Washington. UMPQ's pattern is to buy solid, underappreciated banks.

      Ignoring whether these banks would want to sell, UMPQ would fit nicely with Bank of the Northwest, in Portland (BKNW) (though its stock price already recognizes its superior operations), Merchants Bank in Gresham, Bank of Salem, and First Independent Bank in Vancouver (still family-owned if I recall correctly; a stock-for-stock swap would give the family liquidity without an immediate income tax hit).

    • UMPQ's assimilation of past merger, acquisiton activity is likely not operationally completed. The jury is still out and long term EPS results unknown. We all look for the best, but look at Bernie Ebbers and Worldcom. He was a hero during 1997-1999, now he's out of a job and Worldcom, the second largest telephone company in the U.S. is loaded with debt selling for less than $2.00 per share. UMPQ is selling at more than 30 times earnings! Solid business decisions, not business glory, or ramp-up are very essential now. With essentially a new Board of Directors, it's a time for analysis and consolidation to maximize efficiencies.

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