On Dec 24, 2013, we reiterated our long-term recommendation on
Hudson City Bancorp, Inc.
) at Neutral. Our decision rests on a rise in non-interest
income, lower expenses and solid capital ratios. However, these
positives were offset by a decline in net interest income.
GREAT SOUTH BCP (GSBC): Free Stock Analysis
HUDSON CITY BCP (HCBK): Free Stock Analysis
M&T BANK CORP (MTB): Free Stock Analysis
WASH FEDL INC (WAFD): Free Stock Analysis
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M&T Bank Corp.
) has agreed to take over Hudson City in a cash and stock deal
worth $3.7 billion. Though the deal ran into regulatory
difficulties regarding M&T Bank's anti-money laundering
program and was consequently delayed, an agreement was reached
between the Fed and M&T Bank recently. However, in Dec 2013,
the companies anticipate regulatory approvals to take more time,
which would consequently push back completion of the proposed
merger. With the deal likely to be completed by the end of 2014,
shareholders are likely to benefit from projected synergies of
the combined entity.
Additionally, Hudson City's third-quarter earnings came in at 10
cents per share, in line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate, due
to lower expenses and a rise in non-interest income.
Following the company's third-quarter results, the Zacks
Consensus Estimate for 2013 remained at 37 cents per share over
the last 60 days. Further, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2014
also stayed at 26 cents per share over the same time frame.
Hudson City now carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).
Hudson City completed its balance sheet restructuring in 2011,
which substantially reduced its higher-cost structured
borrowings. Further, Hudson City did not need to avail the aid
provided by the government during the financial crisis.
Therefore, it has no loans outstanding to the government.
On the flip side, credit metrics at Hudson City have been a
matter of concern over the last couple of years. Nonperforming
assets have continuously increased over the past few quarters.
Moreover, due to the persistent low interest rate environment,
Hudson City's net interest margin has been steadily declining,
leading to a decrease in net interest income.
Moreover, an unfavorable interest rate environment, sluggish
economic recovery as well as uncertainty regarding the new and
anticipated regulations are likely to affect the company's
revenues, going forward.
Other Banks to Consider
Better-ranked banking stocks include
Washington Federal Inc.
Great Southern Bancorp Inc.
). Both these stocks carry a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).