Pressured by overcapitalization and market uncertainty, stocks of many recently converted thrifts are cheaper than at any other time in the past two years.

Excess conversion equity is putting a lid on return on equity while inflating book value - at a time when the stock market isn't tolerant of poor returns. And the usual gang of institutional investors has been scared off by fears of higher interest rates and a marked decline in post-offering price increases, or "pops."

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