Parkvale Financial Corp.'s red hot stock has cooled off after it soared 10 1/2 points in an hour's worth of trading last month on news that it was a prime acquisition target.

The Monroeville, Pa.-based institution's stock hit $44.50 a share on Oct. 18 for several minutes, up from $34 a share the Friday before. The stampede was spurred by an article in Barron's that touted the $886 million-asset thrift as a prime takeover candidate.

"That was certainly a surprise," said Robert J. McCarthy, president and chief executive of Parkvale.

The stock, which split five shares for four on Oct. 28, had slipped to $30.50 as of Tuesday's close. It currently trades at 1.30% of book.

Samuel Beebe, a bank analyst with Robert W. Baird & Co. in Tampa, Fla., says the stock is fairly valued. He thinks Parkvale is an "outstanding" institution. "They just do everything right," he said. He cites Parkvale's minuscule noninterest expense ratio -- 1.44% -- and 0.61% nonperforming assets-to-total assets ratio.

Parkvale earned $1.8 million in the third quarter, up from $1.67 million the prior year, which included additional income from a tax benefit.

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