I'm not sure you know what you're talking about. They've been a little slow and deliberate about adding branches, which is OK. I believe they added 3 branches in 2006 bringing the total to 23...the new Summit branch should develop nicely.
As for FM being doomed, if I'm not mistaken, it was the second or third best performing bank on terms of shareholder return for the last several years.
As for why they didn't buy FM, who knows? Most of the newspapers said the price Provident paid was very rich. I remember thinking that a similiar offer for PGC at those valuations would put us over$40, and that doesn't take into consideration the superior growth characteristics we have.