Can a bank trade at over three times book for three years running? National Penn Bancshares of Boyertown, Pa., can.

When I first asked president Larry Jilk where the stock is trading and heard it was over 3 1/2 times book, I ascribed this to a built-in acquisition premium. However, the three-year-plus trading range goes well beyond such a premium and into the roots, culture, and business mix that are unique to this interesting company.

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