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UPDATE: Keefe Bruyette & Woods Initiates Sterling Financial with Market Perform, $19 PT


Keefe Bruyette & Woods initiates its price target on Sterling Financial (NASDAQ: STSA) with a Market Perform rating and a price target of $19 as it establishes 2012 and 2013 estimates of $1.20 and $1.30, respectively.

Keefe Bruyette & Woods notes, "Recapitalized and free from cumbersome regulatory agreements, Sterling Financial Corporation (STSA) has shed the majority of the overhangs that diverted management's attention from external operations, in our view. Although we remain cautious due to elevated—though vastly improved—delinquency levels, we expect lower expenses and continued loan generation to contribute to improved profitability in the coming quarters."

STSA closed at $18.86 a share yesterday.


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