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WABC is presently in a bit of a quandry. David Payne, CEO, does not want to make loans because the pricing doesn't fairly reflect the underlying credit concerns. So he is sitting on a stockpile of cash that he can put to work in two ways: buybacks and acquisitions.
On the buyback front he would be paying 3.9x book and 19.5x 99 consensus EPS. On the acquisition front, the prices are more expensive than David Payne wants to pay.
So in my estimation, the stock is fairly valued here until we see a pickup in his lending strategy, or a decrease in prices paid for other CA banks.
Keep in mind the stock is trading 1 point below its 52 wk hi.
Maybe you should look at HUBC, a $7B asset NJ based bank.
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