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In This List

Stephens Inc. upgrades MidSouth Bancorp

Street Talk Episode 68 - As many investors zig away from bank stocks, 2 vets in the space zag toward them

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Street Talk Episode 67 - Veteran investor tabs Mick Mulvaney to help with latest financial stock-focused fund

Street Talk Episode 65 - Deferral practices trap US bank portfolios in purgatory


Stephens Inc. upgrades MidSouth Bancorp

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* Stephens Inc. analyst Matt Olney upgraded Lafayette, La.-based MidSouth Bancorp Inc. to "overweight" from "equal-weight" due to valuation. He maintained his price target at $16.

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency recently determined that the company's unit, MidSouth Bank NA, is in "troubled condition." The company expects the regulator to issue an enforcement action against its unit.

Amid the situation, Olney wrote that the company's valuation showed an attractive entry point for investors to a bank with high-quality deposits. However, this would not show immediately as he characterized the second quarter to be the company's "kitchen sink quarter," which will produce an EPS loss.

The analyst expects the company's profitability to materialize in the late second half of 2017 or early 2018.

Notable reiterations

* FIG Partners analyst John Rodis reiterated his "market-perform" rating of Springfield, Mo.-based Great Southern Bancorp Inc. and maintained his $55 target.

The analyst expects the company's earnings to slightly improve after the company terminated its final Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. loss-share agreement related to Inter Savings Bank FSB.

Under the agreement, the FDIC will pay $15.0 million to the bank to settle all outstanding items related to the terminated loss-share agreement, he wrote.

* Raymond James analyst William Wallace IV maintained his "market perform" rating of Birmingham, Ala.-based National Commerce Corp. following the company's $35 million common stock offering.

Wallace expects the new capital would help support the company's organic growth and potential acquisitions. It would also keep the company below certain regulatory capital thresholds that would define regulatory concentration risk, he wrote.

The analyst further expects the company to continue improving in terms of organic growth and accretive acquisitions. He added that the company's current valuation reflects the value of the franchise and potential upside from acquisitions.