Dont invite Paul Murphy, president and chief executive officer of Southwest Bancorp of Texas, and TheStreet.com columnist Herb Greenberg to the same cocktail party.
Shares of the $3.9 billion-asset Houston holding company fell 15% on March 6 the day Mr. Greenberg blasted Southwest for inserting a cautionary paragraph about the negative effects of falling interest rates in its annual report. Mr. Greenberg wrote that the offending passage amounted to an attempt to pre-announce a lousy first quarter.
Not surprisingly, Mr. Murphy hit the roof when he read the column. He was still fuming in an interview last week, when he called the piece hollow and irresponsible.
He appears to have gotten in the last word, though.
Southwests first-quarter profit rose 23% from a year earlier, to $12.5 million. Moreover, citing Houstons strong economy, Mr. Murphy predicted that full-year per-share earnings would be $1.56 to $1.59, compared with analysts consensus of $1.48.
As for the stock price, it has regained all the ground it lost March 6 and then some. It was trading at $34.77 at midday Thursday, 8.7% higher than its $32 closing price the day before the column.