A loss on its investment in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac preferred stock weighed heavily on Valley National Bancorp's third-quarter earnings, but Gerald H. Lipkin, the Wayne, N.J., company's chief executive, said its relatively stable credit quality puts it squarely in the camp of likely acquirers in the current environment.

Ideally, the $14.3 billion-asset Valley National would like some kind of government assistance to pursue a deal, Mr. Lipkin said in an interview Thursday after his company reported earnings.

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