​Regional Bank Stocks to Warm the Heart and Widen the Wallet

Joel Anderson  |


The release of transcripts from many of Hillary Clinton’s speeches to major Wall Street investment banks wound up being almost completely inundated by the story of Donald Trump’s 11-year old tape where he said some extremely regrettable things. That did not completely wash away the associated taint for Clinton, though.

However, at the core of this story is a much bigger issue: banks in this country are really unpopular. When it’s a huge liability for a political candidate to be revealed to have said something nice about the big banks, it’s a clear sign that a lot of distrust exists for the financial industry as a whole. And that’s not good. Banks, large and small, play an essential role in the American economy. Without banking institutions offering credit and aiding in capital formation, the entire engine of the American economy would grind to a halt.

So what’s an investor to do? If you’re looking to put your money into the financial industry but want no part of the massive financial institutions that crashed the economy less than a decade ago (or the massive commercial banking institution that’s in the news for giving people a bunch of bank accounts they never wanted, for that matter), there is an answer: regional banks. The sort of banks in the emerging growth realm are precisely the sort that an investor can get behind, coming from more of the “George Bailey Savings & Loan” mold than the Goldman Sachs (GS) “look how much money we can make by screwing over our loyal clients” mold. Catering to the local population, they make their money from personal and small-business loans, not derivatives and securitization. They’re the little guy, doing banking the right way (hopefully) and offering up a strong counterpoint to the massive Wall Street firms that tend to make everyone’s skin crawl.

So, here’s a look at some small- and micro-cap regional banks that get generally positive marks from analysts, have a return-on-assets (ROA) that’s at least 1%, and are offering a dividend yield of at least 2%. Some may be solid investments, others may not have such a bright future, all certainly require a deeper dive before seriously considering an investment. However, what can be said is that they’re all firmly in the small- and micro-cap space and represent banks that operate outside of the major investment banks that spent big bucks on getting Clinton to speak at their annual meetings.


Southern National Banc. of Northern Virginia (SONA)

Market Cap: $161.6 million

Price: $13.18

Dividend Yield: 2.43%


Guaranty Bancorp (GBNK)

Market Cap: $389.65 million

Price: $17.89

Dividend Yield: 2.57%


Chemical Financial Corporation (CHFC)

Market Cap: $1.72 billion

Price: $44.95

Dividend Yield: 2.4%


Mercantile Bank Corp. (MBWM)

Market Cap: $439.34 million

Price: $27.52

Dividend Yield: 2.47%


First Merchants Corporation (FRME)

Market Cap: $1.11 billion

Price: $27.35

Dividend Yield: 2.05%


First Busey Corporation (BUSE)

Market Cap: $842.05 million

Price: $22.16

Dividend Yield: 3.07%


Parke Bancorp (PKBK)

Market Cap: $104.6 million

Price: $15.14

Dividend Yield: 2.11%

Bar Harbor Bankshares (BHB)

Market Cap: $221.04 million

Price: $36.70

Dividend Yield: 3%


Heritage Financial Corp (HFWA)

Market Cap: $546.97 million

Price: $18.32

Dividend Yield: 2.62%


Pacific Continental Corporation (PCBK)

Market Cap: $395.03 million

Price: $17.45

Dividend Yield: 2.52%


Hanmi Financial Corp. (HAFC)

Market Cap: $880.78 million

Price: $27.31

Dividend Yield: 2.78%


First Guaranty Bancshares (FGBI)

Market Cap: $127.15 million

Price: $16.71

Dividend Yield: 3.83%

DISCLOSURE: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors, and do not necessarily represent the views of equities.com. Readers should not consider statements made by the author as formal recommendations and should consult their financial advisor before making any investment decisions. To read our full disclosure, please go to: http://www.equities.com/disclaimer.

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