Magazine article American Banker

Roslyn's Bid for TR Financial Energizes N.Y. Thrift Stocks

Magazine article American Banker

Roslyn's Bid for TR Financial Energizes N.Y. Thrift Stocks

Article excerpt

New York thrift stocks surged Tuesday in an otherwise lackluster market on the news of Roslyn Bancorp's rich $1.1 billion proposal to buy T R Financial Corp.

Shares of T R Financial jumped 12.94% on heavy volume but did not approach the 43% premium to market that Roslyn's offer represents. Roslyn's stock dipped 14.71%.

Investors spent most of Tuesday chasing the shares of every other New York thrift that traded.

Shares of Reliance Bancorp, Dime Community Bancorp, and Queens County Bancorp jumped as much as 2.5% in a post-holiday session one trader dubbed the "quietest of the quiet."

The Standard & Poor's bank index slipped 1.72%, and the Dow Jones industrial average fell 1.65%. The Nasdaq bank index, which is heavily populated by thrifts, also fell 1.43%. The S&P 500 declined 1.43%.

"There is just a general lack of interest," one trader said. "Most investors are still on vacation or playing golf."

Clearly, however, some investors were in the market, making bets on thrifts.

Reliance's shares climbed 81.25 cents, to $38.625; Dime Community Bancorp's stock was up 37.5 cents, to $28.625 and Queens County's shares were up 37.5 cents, to $44.375. Flushing Financial Corp. shares were flat, at $26.875. Investors have spent the last 12 months bidding up the stock on merger speculation, analysts said.

Analysts urged investors on. Thrift analyst Salvatore J. DiMartino of Advest Inc., Hartford, Conn., told investors in a report issued Tuesday morning that he expects "more deals to be announced before Labor Day."

Two New York thrifts he encouraged investors to buy were Dime Community and Flushing Financial. …

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