Saturday, 20 April 2024

Why Metropolitan Bank Holding Corp. Stock Is Up Big Today

by BD Banks

Investors concerned that the issues plaguing New York Community Bancorp would bleed into neighboring institutions had to be encouraged by the latest results of Metropolitan Bank Holdings Corp. (NYSE: MCB).

Shares of the New York-based commercial bank had soared 19% as of 11 a.m. ET after Metropolitan easily exceeded Wall Street expectations in its first-quarter earnings release Thursday.

Solid earnings and strong deposit growth

The New York banking market has been in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons in 2024. A near-death experience at New York Community has investors on edge about a potential bank run there or at other institutions in region, putting pressure on bank stocks.

Earnings at Metropolitan Bank should help make the case that no two banks are the same. The company earned $1.46 per share on sales of $66.7 million, topping Wall Street’s $1.34 per share on $64.56 million consensus estimate. Total deposits stood at $6.2 billion at quarter-end, an increase of $500 million since Dec. 31 and of $1.1 billion in the last 12 months.

The bank is also handling the higher interest rate environment relatively well, with net interest margin up slightly from year-end to 3.4%.

“As the only true mid-sized commercial bank headquartered in NYC, we continue to deliver strong returns for our shareholders while simultaneously and diligently preparing the bank for the future,” CEO Mark DeFazio said in a statement. “We are ready, willing, and able to support our clients with our strong capital position and outstanding liquidity, supported by a continued focus on risk management.”

Is Metropolitan Bank Holdings stock a buy post-earnings?

Shares of Metropolitan Bank were down more than 40% year to date heading into earnings and are still about 30% below their 52-week high even after Friday’s rally. The environment for bank stocks is unlikely to improve quickly, but the bank appears to be doing an admirable job navigating through current conditions.

There could be further turbulence from here. As we have seen already in 2024, there is headline risk in these bank stocks as investors remain nervous about balance sheet surprises. The growing consensus that interest rates will remain higher for longer likely removes a near-term catalyst for the sector, and means a continued treacherous path from here.

But for investors with the patience to handle near-term volatility, Metropolitan Bank appears attractive at these levels.

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Lou Whiteman has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.