Community bank stocks have been strong performers, spurred by takeover speculation, but the companies face important questions about their future.

"The franchise value of community banks is being challenged on multiple fronts," according to analysts for Alex. Brown & Sons Inc., Baltimore, which last week held an investment seminar on the banks.

Limited Time Offer

Save $400 off your subscription. Special offer ends April 30, 2017.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.