SOURCE: The Bedford Report

The Bedford Report

November 28, 2011 08:16 ET

Flagstar Bancorp and Popular Inc -- Struggling Banking Stocks Looking for Momentum

The Bedford Report Provides Equity Research on Flagstar Bancorp & Popular Inc.

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - Nov 28, 2011) - Regional US and Puerto Rican banks have performed poorly this year due to high debt levels, low interest rates and several global macroeconomic factors. Companies in the sector are looking for ways to become leaner in a period when loan growth is limited and fee revenue has been cut back by regulations. Some banks are trimming their workforces and streamlining systems to try and maintain their bottom lines. The Bedford Report examines the outlook for companies in the Regional Banking sector and provides equity research on Flagstar Bancorp, Inc. (NYSE: FBC) and Popular Inc. (NASDAQ: BPOP). Access to the full company reports can be found at:

www.bedfordreport.com/FBC
www.bedfordreport.com/BPOP

After years of strong growth for the past two decades Puerto Rico's economy has declined as other countries in the Caribbean and Latin America have lured away manufacturing and tourists. Popular Inc. has seen significant losses in the past 52 weeks. Banks like Popular have been hurt by the weak Puerto Rican market, low interest rates and the presence of too many banks in the region. Some smaller banks in Puerto Rico may look to merge or consolidate in order to survive amongst the larger banks in the over banked region.

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In the United States, Popular has established a community-banking franchise through Banco Popular North America, delivering financial services across 96 branches in New York, New Jersey, Illinois, Florida and California and through its online banking platform. Popular, Inc. reported net income of $27.5 million for the quarter ended September 30, 2011, compared with net income of $494.1 million for the quarter ended September 30, 2010.

Flagstar Bank reported a third quarter 2011 net loss applicable to common shareholders of $(14.2) million, as compared to a second quarter 2011 net loss of $(74.9) million and a third quarter 2010 net loss of $(22.6) million. During the third quarter, the Bank announced it had entered into separate agreements to divest its 27-branch Georgia and its 22-branch Indiana retail bank franchises, with PNC Financial Services Group and First Financial Bancorp, respectively.

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