Shares of Marshall & Ilsley Corp. rose Thursday despite a drop in second-quarter profits.
The Milwaukee banking company reported earnings of 55 cents per share, down 28 cents from the same period last year. It had prepared Wall Street with a warning June 22 that it would take $38.4 million in pretax nonrecurring charges off the balance sheet. The company said the charges were related to organizational changes and acquisitions at Metavante Corp., its processing subsidiary, as well as writedowns of auto lease residuals and final charges for charter consolidation.
Metavante acquired two technology companies in May, CyberBills and Derivion Corp., and Marshall & Ilsley received regulatory approval to purchase National City Bancorp. of Minneapolis. That deal is expected to be completed July 31.
M&Is second-quarter operating earnings were 91 cents a share, and analysts were pleased that operating profits came in at the upper end of what the company had told investors to expect.
Michael L Granger of J.P. Morgan Securities Inc. said that he was pleased with the revenue growth and does not expect further writedowns.
Jason Goldberg of Lehman Brothers Inc. agreed. After the June warning he told investors that any drop in Marshall & Ilsleys stock price related to the writedowns would provide a buying opportunity.
Instead, M&I has risen 8% since the warning, including a 3.03% rise Thursday, buoyed by increases in the broader market.
North Fork Bancorp. of Melville, N.Y., also reported second-quarter earnings Thursday, showing profits of 49 cents a share, up 14% from last year. The company said the increase was due to a 0.19% increase in its net interest margin this year; $1 billion in deposit growth since Dec. 31, to $10.2 billion; and $440.4 million in loan growth, to $9.8 billion.
New York City deposits continue to outperform our budgeted expectations as we open new branches in that market, said John Adam Kana, chief executive officer, in a release.
Mr. Goldberg said, New York is a tremendous deposit market, and added that North Forks efficiency ratio of 33.67% lets it compete with the areas big players, namely Citibank and Chase Manhattan Bank. North Forks strong loan and deposit growth would make it less vulnerable to higher interest rates if the economy improves, he said.
North Fork was up 0.26% Thursday.
Elsewhere in the market, Mr. Goldberg introduced coverage for Zions Bancorp in Salt Lake City on Wednesday with a strong buy.
Based on his 2002 estimate of $3.75 per share, he calculated an upside of 27% for the stock. In his research report he wrote that he sees several potential catalysts on the horizon that should allow the valuation discount between Zions and other high performing banks to narrow.