UPDATE: J.P. Morgan Reiterates Underweight Rating, Lowers PT on Astoria Financial
In a report published Monday, J.P. Morgan & Co. reiterated its Underweight rating on Astoria Financial (NYSE: AF), but slightly lowered its price target from $10.50 to $10.00.
J.P. Morgan noted, “In the pre-crisis period (call this before 2008), despite AF having a sub-2% net interest margin, the company was able to earn its cost of capital, in large part leveraging its balance sheet, operating with a TCE ratio in the 5% and lower range. In the post-crisis period, however, with capital levels being bolstered across the industry and AF now under the regulatory guidance of one of the toughest regulators, the OCC, in our view, it's very unlikely that the company will return to this previously thin level of tangible common equity. With less operating leverage available to the company, we believe management has a very tough hand to play to restore the company's ROTE to above its cost of capital looking out through 2016. Consequently, we see very little opportunity for the company to create shareholder value over the intermediate term and reiterate our Underweight rating.”
Astoria Financial closed on Friday at $10.20.
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