U.S. Markets closed

The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Bank of America, Berkshire Bancorp, Berkshire Hills Bancorp, Community Bank System and Washington Federal

Zacks Equity Research

For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – July 26, 2013 – Zacks.com announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include Bank of America Corporation (BAC-Free Report), Berkshire Bancorp (BERK-Free Report), Berkshire Hills Bancorp Inc. (BHLB-Free Report), Community Bank System Inc. (CBU-Free Report) and Washington Federal Inc. (WAFD-Free Report).

Today, Zacks is promoting its ''Buy'' stock recommendations. Get #1Stock of the Day pick for free.

Here are highlights from Thursday’s Analyst Blog:

Bank of America to Shed 20 Branches

Bank of America Corporation (BAC-Free Report) recently announced the decision to sell its branches to Berkshire Bancorp (BERK-Free Report) – a subsidiary of Berkshire Hills Bancorp Inc. (BHLB-Free Report) – and Community Bank System Inc. (CBU-Free Report). BofA plans to dispose its branches situated in both New York markets and northeastern Pennsylvania.

The company is planning to divest 20 New York market branches to Berkshire Bank. These branches have total deposits of around $640 million and total loans worth about $5 million.

Moreover, Berkshire Bank plans to retain the employees of the acquired branches. BofA is selling its branches for $14.4 million, representing a deposit premium of 2.25% on the collective total deposits.

The acquisition of BofA’s branches by Berkshire Bank is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2014. Moreover, the deal is subject to regulatory approval from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts as well as satisfaction of customary closing conditions.

Apart from this, BofA plans to sell 8 northeastern Pennsylvania branches to Community Bank at a 2.39% premium for about $369.0 million in deposits. The transaction is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2013, subject to regulatory review and approval.

Last week, BofA agreed to sell 51 branches situated in Eastern Washington, Idaho, Oregon and New Mexico to Washington Federal Inc. (WAFD-Free Report). The branches represent total deposits of about $1.8 billion and total loans of about $11 million.

This transaction is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2013. Moreover, the deal is subject to regulatory approval from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) and satisfaction of customary closing conditions.  

Over the past few years, BofA has been selling its branches and shuttering operations in an attempt to simplify its structure and strengthen its financials. Moreover, BofA’s effort to dispose branches is expected to reduce its employee base, thereby lessening its expenses.

BofA currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Today, Zacks is promoting its ''Buy'' stock recommendations. Get #1Stock of the Day pick for free.

About Zacks Equity Research

Zacks Equity Research provides the best of quantitative and qualitative analysis to help investors know what stocks to buy and which to sell for the long-term.

Continuous coverage is provided for a universe of 1,150 publicly traded stocks. Our analysts are organized by industry which gives them keen insights to developments that affect company profits and stock performance. Recommendations and target prices are six-month time horizons.

Zacks "Profit from the Pros" e-mail newsletter provides highlights of the latest analysis from Zacks Equity Research. Subscribe to this free newsletter today.

About Zacks

Zacks.com is a property of Zacks Investment Research, Inc., which was formed in 1978. The later formation of the Zacks Rank, a proprietary stock picking system; continues to outperform the market by nearly a 3 to 1 margin. The best way to unlock the profitable stock recommendations and market insights of Zacks Investment Research is through our free daily email newsletter; Profit from the Pros.  In short, it's your steady flow of Profitable ideas GUARANTEED to be worth your time! Register for your free subscription to Profit from the Pros.

Get the full Report on BAC - FREE

Get the full Report on BERK - FREE

Get the full Report on BHLB - FREE

Get the full Report on CBU - FREE

Get the full Report on WAFD - FREE

Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/zacksresearch

Join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/home.php#/pages/Zacks-Investment-Research/57553657748?ref=ts

Zacks Investment Research is under common control with affiliated entities (including a broker-dealer and an investment adviser), which may engage in transactions involving the foregoing securities for the clients of such affiliates.

Media Contact
Zacks Investment Research

800-767-3771 ext. 9339



Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Inherent in any investment is the potential for loss. This material is being provided for informational purposes only and nothing herein constitutes investment, legal, accounting or tax advice, or a recommendation to buy, sell or hold a security. No recommendation or advice is being given as to whether any investment is suitable for a particular investor. It should not be assumed that any investments in securities, companies, sectors or markets identified and described were or will be profitable. All information is current as of the date of herein and is subject to change without notice. Any views or opinions expressed may not reflect those of the firm as a whole. Zacks Investment Research does not engage in investment banking, market making or asset management activities of any securities. These returns are from hypothetical portfolios consisting of stocks with Zacks Rank = 1 that were rebalanced monthly with zero transaction costs. These are not the returns of actual portfolios of stocks. The S&P 500 is an unmanaged index. Visit http://www.zacks.com/performance for information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.

Read the analyst report on BAC

Read the analyst report on BERK

Read the analyst report on BHLB

Read the analyst report on CBU

Read the analyst report on WAFD

Zacks Investment Research

More From Zacks.com