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Piper Jaffray games out potential deals for New York Community Bancorp

Westbury, N.Y.-based New York Community Bancorp Inc. could do a number of potential transactions that would improve its franchise value and also be accretive to the bank's tangible book value and earnings, according to Matthew Breese from Piper Jaffray.

Among other things, the current regulatory environment, investor sentiment toward mergers of equals and the company's currency advantage as compared to its peers could allow for a "well-priced acquisition," Breese said in a note.

Potential targets identified by the analyst include Los Angeles-based Hope Bancorp Inc.; Little Rock, Ark.-based Bank OZK; Miami Lakes, Fla.-based BankUnited Inc.; Short Hills, N.J.-based Investors Bancorp Inc.; and Hato Rey, Puerto Rico-based Popular Inc.

Smaller potential targets include Hanmi Financial Corp. and Pacific City Financial Corp. in Los Angeles; Uniondale, N.Y.-based Flushing Financial Corp.; Brooklyn, N.Y.-based Dime Community Bancshares Inc.; Bayonne, N.J.-based BCB Bancorp Inc.; and New York-based Metropolitan Bank Holding Corp. and Amalgamated Bank.

In the analyst's view, the potential targets that stand out most are BankUnited, Investors Bancorp and Flushing Financial, with potential EPS accretion of 14%, 9% and 6%, respectively.

According to the analyst, New York Community and BankUnited have a healthy overlap and the potential target is financially attractive. Investors Bancorp and Flushing Financial are both financially attractive and employ balance-sheet strategies similar to that of New York Community.

Breese identified Popular Inc. as another interesting potential partnership and posited 40% EPS accretion from a deal. The analyst identified the potential deal as perhaps the most financially attractive, but noted that it would face numerous barriers.