Stocks You Can Bank On: Raymond Stewart Sees Above-Average Gains in Financial Institutions

By Lewis, Nicole | Black Enterprise, January 2007 | Go to article overview

Stocks You Can Bank On: Raymond Stewart Sees Above-Average Gains in Financial Institutions


Lewis, Nicole, Black Enterprise


Raymond Stewart President & Chief Investment Officer RASARA Strategies Inc.

Raymond Stewart, president and chief investment officer of RASARA Strategies Inc., has an approach to investing not shared by traditional money managers. He likes hedging his bets in the banking sector.

"RASARA has taken advantage of knowing which bank stocks are a better investment over the longer term," Stewart says. "For the past 10 years, to the end of the September 2006 quarter, RASARA has generated a 268% cumulative return compared to 110% for the S&P 500. RASARA limits its exposure to underperforming bank stocks by holding equity positions in banks that offer different services in different locations." RASARA, an institutional investment management firm that invest on behalf of state, municipal, and corporate pension funds, is focused on investing in small- to mid-cap bank stocks that have a low price-to-earnings ratio. The company is based in Briarcliff Manor, New York.

Stewart's Stock Picks

   New York Community             Mercantile Bank
      Bancorp Inc.                     Corp.
       (NYSE: NYB)                (NASDAQ: MBWM)

         Price:                       Price:
         $16.40                       $38.94

     12- to 18-month              12- to 18-month
         target:                      target:
         $22.00                       $50.00

    P/E on projected             P/E on projected
     2006 earnings:               2006 earnings:
          16.5                          13

   Est. 5-year annual           Est. 5-year annual
    EPS growth rate:             EPS growth rate:
           10%                          17%

     Why stock will               Why stock will
       outperform:                  outperform:

   Through a restruc-           The volume of loans
   turing program that          and leases the bank
  resolved an interest         offers has increased,
   rate mismatch, the           and a corresponding
    bank has improved          increase in revenues
   its balance sheet. … 

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Stocks You Can Bank On: Raymond Stewart Sees Above-Average Gains in Financial Institutions
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