UJB Financial Gains after Analyst from Dean Witter Says 'Accumulate.' (Anthony Davis of Dean Witter, Discover Co.) (Brief Article)

By Matthews, Gordon | American Banker, June 15, 1993 | Go to article overview

UJB Financial Gains after Analyst from Dean Witter Says 'Accumulate.' (Anthony Davis of Dean Witter, Discover Co.) (Brief Article)


Matthews, Gordon, American Banker


Having fallen 20% since mid-March, shares of UJB Financial Corp. advanced on Monday after receiving a vote of confidence from Dean Witter, Discover & Co.

Analyst Anthony Davis raised his recommendation to "accumulate" from "neutral."

He said UJB, based in Princeton, N.J., may post stronger-than-expected earnings in the second quarter.

In late trading, UJB was up 75 cents to $23.75, but still well below the 52-week high of $29.375 reached three months ago. The analyst noted that the stock recently traded at 130% of book value, versus 170% for other regional banks.

Real Estate Woes

Like other northeastern banks, UJB's profitability has slumped in the past few years because of sour real estate loans.

But its recovery is about to blossom, according to Mr. Davis.

He anticipates the bank will earn 40 cents a share during the second quarter, up 90% from the 21 cents it tallied in the same quarter last year.

For the full year, he expects UJB to earn $1.75, against $1.09 last year. He estimates next year's earnings at $2.50 per share. He cited falling credit costs and improving asset quality as principal factors.

Another analyst who likes the stock said the bank is also in a position to benefit from resumption of loan growth. …

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