Energy lending has hamstrung many banks and Green Bancorp's (NASDAQ:GNBC) previously outsized exposure to the energy sector has come back to bite this small Texas lender. Management is moving fairly aggressively to exit its energy lending business and pivot toward lending growth opportunities in Dallas and Austin, but weakness in the Houston metro area remains a concern, as does this company's funding base.
I like Green Bancorp's portfolio banker lending model, and I think the underlying growth in major Texas metro areas like Dallas, Houston, and Austin can support above-average loan growth. That said, there's a lot of competition within Texas, and management needs to prove that it can carve out a durable differentiated lending franchise and expand its base of lower-cost deposits. The current valuation already assumes a lot of improvement (and long-term earnings growth in the range of 20%) and that doesn't leave much room for excitement from me.
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Knocked Back By Energy, Green Bancorp Looking To Rebuild The Growth Story Next Year