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Sterne Agee Analyst: 'Fear At High Point' For Texas Banks

Sterne Agee Analyst: 'Fear At High Point' For Texas Banks
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Banks exposed to the Texas economy and energy-related loan portfolios may hit a rough patch during 2015, an analyst said Monday.

"Fear is reaching a fairly high point" among investors, Sterne Agee's Brett Rabatin said in a note.

The impending earnings season may feature comments from affected banks about a slowing Texas economy plus higher loan loss provisions, Rabatin said.

Short-term risk stems from loans to the oil-field service sector and banks are likely to remain profitable in the face of trouble there.

But if real estate gets hurt, banks could report actual losses.

Rabatin noted that nearly 60 percent of Houston's downtown office space is related to the oil and gas industry, which could see sizable job cuts.

Banks at risk according to Rabatin have already seen substantial declines in the stock market.

Those include Zions Bancorporation (NASDAQ: ZION), which is off 10 percent in the past six months.

Shares of BOK Financial Corporation (NASDAQ: BOKF) have fallen 15 percent since June; Comerica Incorporated (NYSE: CMA) is off 13 percent and Iberiabank Corp (NASDAQ: IBKC) has lost 11 percent since June.

The shares of MidSouth Bancorp, Inc. (NYSE: MSL) are off nearly 20 percent and Hancock Holding Company (NASDAQ: HBHC) has dropped more than 20 percent.

Image credit: Jonathunder, Wikimedia

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Posted-In: Brett Rabatin Sterne AgeeAnalyst Color Analyst Ratings Best of Benzinga


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