Greater Bay Bancorp was downgraded Tuesday by Sandler O’Neill & Partners, with analysts saying the stock had become too pricey.

Chris Orgielewicz at Sandler reduced his rating to “market perform,” from “outperform.” “Greater Bay is a phenomenal story,” Mr. Orgielewicz said, “but the stock prices are phenomenal too.” He said the stock deserves a premium, but shares are already trading at 18 times Greater Bay’s 2001 earnings per share, which he expects to be $3.68. Greater Bay, a super-community bank based in Palo Alto, Calif., has $4.1 billion in assets and nine bank subsidiaries.

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