When USBancorp acquired Johnstown Savings Bank in 1994, analyst Elizabeth Summers of Ryan, Beck & Co. thought the strategy so "egregious" she downgraded the Johnstown, Pa., holding company to "sell."

On Monday, however, she upgraded the company to "buy," from "hold," based on its better-than-expected first-quarter earnings and news of an upcoming dividend increase. This Friday, the company is expected to increase its dividend 11.1%, to 30 cents a share.

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