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Cullen/Frost Bankers Completes WNB Bancshares Merger

Zacks Equity Research

Following the recent approval by the Federal Reserve, Cullen/Frost Bankers, Inc. (CFR) closed the cash plus stock deal to get Texas based WNB Bancshares, Inc. merged into its banking subsidiary Frost Bank. The deal was inked in Aug 2013.

As per the deal, all the 7 WNB Bancshares locations in Midland and Odessa merged into Frost Bank and will be recognized under the brand of Frost. As Cullen/Frost already has 22 financial centers in San Antonio, WNB Bancshares’ San Antonio based branch was closed.

Owing to the deal, Cullen/Frost now has more than 120 financial centers in Texas. The company assumed assets worth $1.8 billion while adding loan and deposit balances of $668.3 million and 1.6 billion, respectively. Moreover, the transaction is expected to contribute about 4% to Cullen/Frost's 2014 earnings per share (excluding the restructuring charges).

The merger deal will enable Cullen/Frost to capitalize on the booming Midland and Odessa markets of The Permian Basin, thereby further strengthening its Texas franchise. On the other hand, the venture seems beneficial to the customers of WNB Bancshares too, as it facilitates access to Cullen/Frost's wide range of financial products and services.

Cullen/Frost currently holds a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some better-ranked stocks in the banking space include CVB Financial Corp. (CVBF), Community National Bank (CBNY) and Central Pacific Financial Corp. (CPF). All three stocks carry a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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