Magazine article American Banker

CCB Stock Wins 'Buy' Rating on Strength of Acquisitions

Magazine article American Banker

CCB Stock Wins 'Buy' Rating on Strength of Acquisitions

Article excerpt

Shares of CCB Financial Corp. gained Tuesday after Interstate/Johnson Lane put the Durham, N.C.-based company on its "buy" list.

The Atlanta firm said it had upgraded the CCB's shares from a "neutral" rating because it expects the bank will benefit from the growing North Carolina economy. It put a 12-month price target of $60 on the stock. "I would say it will attain $60 a share in the next 12 months if we have a continuation of the present market," said analyst John Mason. "In the right circumstances, it could be a $70 stock."

The stock, which closed below $50 Monday for the first time in two months, gained $1.25 to $50.50.

The author of Interstate/Johnson Lane's rating report, research analyst Chris Marinac, said economic conditions in the Southeast have made the region a "very attractive bank market." This should help all banks in the region, he said, but CCB would likely benefit more because of strategic acquisitions.

The bank ranks second only to Wachovia Corp. in the northern North Carolina city of Durham, and is building its branch system in key urban markets along the Interstate 85 corridor all the way to Charlotte in the south. Its acquisition of Salisbury, N.C.-based Security Capital Bancorp last year was a key in achieving this growth.

"We like it that CCB is primarily in growth areas along the Interstate 85 corridor," Mr. Marinac said. "Because of that we think it deserves a higher valuation."

Based upon Monday's closing price of $49.25, the $5. …

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