Oregon's Umpqua (NASDAQ:UMPQ) is something of a case-in-point as to why I'm reluctant to overpay for stocks (and bank stocks in particular). When I last wrote about this high-quality bank back in 2014, I thought the shares looked expensive. Since that time, the shares are actually down about 5% - rare for most bank stocks and all the worse when compared to the performances of regional rivals like East West (NASDAQ:EWBC), Washington Federal (NASDAQ:WAFD) and Pacific Continental (NASDAQ:PCBK).
What's worse is that even after this run of underperformance, the shares still don't look all that cheap. Not only is Umpqua not all that asset-sensitive, it also lacks real leverage in more than a handful of major markets. Add in a loan book that is overweighted to commercial real estate and multi-family residential lending, an elevated cost structure (which is liable to be tough to tame) and weakening yields, and it's a tough near-term outlook. While there is definitely room for improvement, Umpqua may find it hard to go much above 10% ROE in the foreseeable future, and that limits the value proposition today.
Read the full article here:
Umpqua Seems Short Of Growth Drivers