U.S. Markets closed

The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: KeyCorp, First Niagara Financial Group, HSBC Holdings, Community Bank System and Financial Institutions

For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – June 26, 2012 – 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 KeyCorp (KEY), First Niagara Financial Group Inc. (FNFG), HSBC Holdings plc (HBC), Community Bank System Inc. (CBU), Financial Institutions Inc. (FISI).


Get the most recent insight from Zacks Equity Research with the free Profit from the Pros newsletter: http://at.zacks.com/?id=5513

Here are highlights from Monday’s Analyst Blog:

KeyBank to Close HSBC Unit Acquisition


KeyBank N.A, a wing of  KeyCorp (KEY), looks to be on time for its closure of the acquisition of 37 HSBC units from First Niagara Financial Group Inc. (FNFG). The deal is anticipated to close on July 13, 2012.

Earlier in January, KeyBank N.A had signed a deal with First Niagara to purchase 37 HSBC branches – 26 in Buffalo and 11 in Rochester – by paying 4.6% or $110 million premium on deposits of nearly $2.4 billion. Upon acquisition, KeyCorp would also undertake $400 million in loans. This will expand the company’s presence in the region by bringing the number of KeyBank branches to 99.

First Niagara had acquired 195 branches from HSBC Holdings plc (HBC) for $1 billion in cash. First Niagara decided to divest some of the branches to satisfy antitrust concerns raised by the Department of Justice and for non-alignment of these branches to its growth plan. Community Bank System Inc. (CBU) and Five Star Bank -- a subsidiary of  Financial Institutions Inc. (FISI) are the other banks to buy a few HSBC branches from First Niagara.

The officials at KeyCorp have been preparing to overcome the deal’s biggest hurdle: smooth consumer conversion. The conversion is set for the weekend, following the closure date. The company’s branch and call center staff will help the customers to clear anticipated confusion stemming from this complicated deal. This facility will be provided for the next couple of weeks as well.

Further, the bank plans to extend working hours on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays to assist customers’ queries. KeyCorp has already mailed information to the HSBC customers regarding their accounts and conversion in the form of ‘welcome kits.’ The bank has been working with HSBC for ensuring a fault-free conversion process to minimize customers’ troubles.


The smooth and timely completion of the deal is sure to enhance KeyCorp’s image. The acquisition would enable the company to expand its footprint in the upscale New York region. Further, this would help it to build a sound consumer base, benefiting its wealth management as well as banking business in this region.

Moreover, retention of HSBC employees would positively affect KeyCorp in the long run. This will not only guarantee a smooth customer conversion process, but also will enhance KeyCorp’s human resources as well as goodwill. Upon acquisition, KeyCorp will get its first ATMs that accept check deposits by simply scanning the image of the check.

Shares of KeyCorp currently carry a Zacks #3 Rank, which translates into a short-term Hold rating. Considering the fundamentals, we are also maintaining a long-term Neutral recommendation on the shares.


Want more from Zacks Equity Research? Subscribe to the free Profit from the Pros newsletter: http://at.zacks.com/?id=5515.

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: http://at.zacks.com/?id=5517

About Zacks

Zacks.com is a property of Zacks Investment Research, Inc., which was formed in 1978 by Leon Zacks. As a PhD from MIT Len knew he could find patterns in stock market data that would lead to superior investment results. Amongst his many accomplishments was the formation of his proprietary stock picking system; the Zacks Rank, which 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 at http://at.zacks.com/?id=5518.

Visit http://www.zacks.com/performance for information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.

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

Disclaimer: Past performance does not guarantee future results. Investors should always research companies and securities before making any investments. Nothing herein should be construed as an offer or solicitation to buy or sell any security.

Media Contact
Zacks Investment Research

800-767-3771 ext. 9339



Read the analyst report on KEY

Read the analyst report on FNFG

Read the analyst report on HBC

Read the analyst report on CBU

Read the analyst report on FISI

Zacks Investment Research

More From Zacks.com