US bank stocks booked a negative median return for the third consecutive month in October following third-quarter earnings reports.
The median return of major exchange-traded banks for the month was negative 2.2%, compared with negative 4.7% in September and negative 7.2% in August. The S&P US BMI Banks index's return for the month was negative 3.8%, and the S&P 500's return was negative 2.1%.
During October, the four biggest US banks extended a string of third-quarter earnings reports that surpassed grim expectations for the sector, and large regional banks — or banks with assets between $100 billion and $1 trillion — reported mixed earnings results.
Most regional banks with assets ranging from $10 billion and $100 billion and the majority of community banks posted weaker results on a year-over-year basis.
The Federal Reserve's most recent interest rate decision, announced Nov. 1, will have an impact on bank stock returns for November. The Fed maintained its target range for the federal funds rate at 5.25% to 5.5%.
Carver Bancorp Inc. was the worst-performing bank stock with a month-to-date return of negative 40.3%, followed by HomeStreet Inc. with negative 38.0%.
Blue Ridge Bankshares Inc. ranked third, returning negative 30.3%. Blue Ridge's shares took a further hit Nov. 1 after the company reported a net loss of $41.4 million for the third quarter, suspended future quarterly dividend payments until further notice, and disclosed it would restate certain financial statements due to a reporting error.
BOK Financial Corp. had a negative October return of 18.1%. In late October, the company's stock price tumbled after it reported a drop of 31 basis points in net interest margin in the third quarter.
New York Community Bancorp Inc. — which logged an increase in nonperforming loans, driven by two loans backed by office buildings — was among the worst performers with a return of negative 16.4%.
Regions Financial Corp. reported some credit deterioration and fraud issues and being downgraded by some analysts. The company's stock posted a return of negative 15.5%.
"[I]n a market where investors have razor thin patience for bank stocks and macro trends aren't in favor of multiple expansion, we think it is difficult for the market to re-rate any stock with company-specific disappointments — like we saw at [Regions]," UBS Securities analyst Erika Najarian wrote in a note.
Cambridge Bancorp, which is in a pending deal to merge with Eastern Bankshares Inc., had a return of negative 13.8%.
Union Bankshares Inc. led the best-performing bank stocks in October with a return of 25.6%. Arrow Financial Corp. closely followed with a 25.2% return.
Customers Bancorp Inc., which had a boost in its share price after recording strong deposit growth in the third quarter, returned 16.7%.
Central Valley Community Bancorp returned 11.8% in October, the same month it announced a deal to merge with Community West Bancshares.