Our Regional Bank Reports Slightly Better-Than-Expected Earnings

Yesterday, Valley National Bancorp (VLY) reported third-quarter earnings per share (EPS) of $0.24 vs. $0.21, which was $0.01 better than expectations. However, the beat was largely driven by trading gains which may be non-recurring.

There were a few positives and negatives in the quarter. Among the strengths in the quarter were an 8% loan growth rate and rising core service income, while negatives included interest margin compression and higher credit expenses due to the company’s taxi medallion program.

Results were good enough for the company to hold on to its recent rally, and I believe the stock remains on target to earn $1.00 a share next year. This would make my $12.50 target realistic.  Buy VLY below $10.50. Its 4% dividend yield remains very attractive.