Texas is Heaven for Banks as "Almost Ridiculous Growth" is Forecast for 2014: A Wall Street Transcript Interview with Brett D. Rabatin, Senior Research Analyst Covering Mid- and Small-Cap Banks at Sterne Agee & Leach, Inc.

Wall Street Transcript

67 WALL STREET, New York - February 4, 2014 - The Wall Street Transcript has just published its Southeast & Midwestern Banks Report offering a timely review of the sector to serious investors and industry executives. This special feature contains expert industry commentary through in-depth interviews with public company CEOs, Equity Analysts and Money Managers. The full issue is available by calling (212) 952-7433 or via The Wall Street Transcript Online.

Topics covered: Interest Rates and Loan-Growth Strategies - Regulatory Outlook Gains Clarity - Investing in Regional Banks - Heightened M&A Activity - Consolidation in Regional Banking - Increased Lending Opportunities - Heightened Banking Competition - Benefits from Higher Interest Rates

Companies include: Texas Capital BancShares Inc. (TCBI), BB & T Corp. (BBT), Citigroup, Inc. (C), Comerica Incorporated (CMA), BOK Financial Corp. (BOKF), Cullen/Frost Bankers, Inc. (CFR), Umpqua Holdings Corp. (UMPQ), Sterling Financial Corp. (STSA), Hilltop Holdings Inc. (HTH), First Financial Bankshares Inc (FFIN)

In the following excerpt from the Southeast & Midwestern Banks Report, an expert analyst discusses the outlook for the sector for investors:

TWST: I gather your focus is Texas?

Mr. Rabatin: Yes. So, I cover the Texas banks and then a lot of the West Coast of - along the coast, California, Oregon, Washington, Hawaii as well as some names that are a little further in the Mountain West in Montana, Arizona.

TWST: Well, let's stick with Texas and the Southwest. How did the banks perform from a business point of view last year?

Mr. Rabatin: Well the banks have done, in Texas, exceedingly well. I would definitely say this year was one of the best years we've seen in a particularly - in a market like Houston and a lot of the banks there have really benefitted, not only because of the growing economy but just because of the size and magnitude of lending opportunities in the area. We've started to see, I'd argue, this year, especially in the latter part of the year, a re-emergence of what historically has been the case with the Texas banks, which is they trade for higher valuations and they tend to be more viewed favorably, not only because of the franchises but also because of generally speaking the optimism for the markets and the prospects for growth vis-a-vis most of the country.

TWST: So they, from an operating point of view, showed up at the top end of the scale last year?

Mr. Rabatin: Yes. They had a very good year. You had a number of names that did acquisitions and some of the others have really grown tremendously. One of the things that's very prevalent in Texas is again they are very big markets, and so if you're able to move market share especially in Dallas or Houston, those two markets are so big that if you're able to move market share you can have what most people would argue is almost ridiculous growth...

For more of this interview and many others visit the Wall Street Transcript - a unique service for investors and industry researchers - providing fresh commentary and insight through verbatim interviews with CEOs, portfolio managers and research analysts. This special issue is available by calling (212) 952-7433 or via The Wall Street Transcript Online.

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