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Analyst: Eagle Bancorp could consider sale following CEO change

Following news that Ronald Paul is retiring from the helm of Bethesda, Md.-based Eagle Bancorp Inc. and unit EagleBank, one analyst suggested the bank could take the chance to explore strategic options, including a sale.

Paul retired effective immediately for health reasons. Sandler O'Neill & Partners analyst Casey Whitman in a March 21 note called Paul "one of the best" CEOs in the business and said his departure is "clearly a blow." But she pointed to a "deep leadership bench" at the bank and said there are many people within the company and outside it who could take on the CEO role.

Whitman also suggested that Eagle Bancorp could take this time to explore strategic opportunities.

"[W]e continue to believe that this franchise [1.9% return on assets in the D.C. metro area] would likely garner a premium in a sale," Whitman wrote.

The analyst reiterated her buy rating and $60 price target on Eagle Bancorp.