Stock down 18% YTD Giants & WFAN partner Investors Bank seeks sale

Last year Investors Bank spent tons of money on stupid WFAN ads as they closed branches & laid off workers. (Laid off Investors Bank employees must have loved their NJ Devils bobblehead promotions, sponsoring of Boomer & Gio's WFAN studios, and stock down 26%...)

And now? They're looking to sell.

The Short Hills, N.J., regional bank, which has about 150 branches in the state and in New York, has hired deal adviser Keefe, Bruyette & Woods Inc., which could start reaching out to potential buyers soon, according to people familiar with the matter.

WSJ continued:

Banks’ fortunes have dimmed this year after a period following Donald Trump’s election in which their shares rose on the prospects of deregulation, tax reform and higher interest rates. While the corporate tax cut has produced a financial windfall, many banks are now facing challenges. Across the industry, loan growth has been tepid for more than two years and deposit costs are quickly rising.

Investors Bank isn’t immune: It paid customers a 1.39% rate on interest-bearing deposits as of the third quarter, causing its profit margin from lending to fall markedly. Bank of America Corp., by contrast, paid such customers 0.50%.

It is also still bound by an agreement with regulators to improve its anti-money-laundering controls, which often holds up deals. On its third quarter earnings call, the bank’s Chief Executive Kevin Cummings said he was “cautiously optimistic” the order could be lifted soon.

Investors Bank stock had fallen 18% so far this year as of Tuesday morning to below where it was the day of the 2016 presidential election. After The Wall Street Journal broke the news it was seeking a potential sale, its stock shot up 9.9%--a jump, but only to levels seen earlier this fall.

Hey, you know one thing about Investors Bank - Complacency will not be understood.

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