Given that you clicked on this article, it seems safe to assume you either own stock in People's United Financial (NASDAQ:PBCT) or are considering buying shares in the near future. If so, then you've come to the right place. The table below reveals the nine most critical numbers that investors need to know about People's United stock before deciding whether to buy, sell, or hold it.

But before getting to that, a brief introduction is in order. Founded in 1842, People's United is one of the oldest financial institutions in the country. And today, it's one of the largest regional banks in New England, with locations in Connecticut, New York, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine. It currently operates 418 branches and has $30 billion in assets.

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As you can see in the table above, People's United exhibits a number of core strengths. Its net interest margin exceeds the industry average by 16 basis points, showing prudent interest rate risk. Its nonperforming loans ratio is far below its typical peer, demonstrating a convincing handle on credit risk. And finally, it pays out a generous 89% of its earnings via dividends.

On the other hand, People's United's paradoxically low return on equity is indicative of death by a thousand cuts. It's slightly less leveraged than its peers, has a smaller proportion of income generated by fees, and its efficiency ratio is marginally higher. Taken together, the cumulative effect is to drive down its ROE. And what's not represented here, moreover, is the downward trend in the bank's tangible book value per share, which has fallen from above $15 in 2007 to down below $9 today.

John Maxfield has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.