Banks can be tricky enough to follow on their own. I mean, you have to contend with specialized terminology like "net interest margin" and "charge-offs" that don't really appear with other investable companies. And then you have the case of Wisconsin-based Marshall &Ilsley
Trickier than usual or not, Marshall & Ilsley had a pretty solid quarter. Net income was up only about 2.6% per share as reported, but stripping away some gains from the year-ago result translates into 11% growth on a more apples-to-apples basis. Growth was double-barreled -- net interest income climbed almost 12%, and non-interest income (of which the company's Metavante technology business is a major part) rose 5%. Speaking specifically to Metavante, sales there were up more than 16% as reported, and organic growth was in the mid-single digits.
Turning to the flotsam and jetsam of banking statistics, return on assets slipped (1.62% vs. 1.75%), as did return on equity (15.96% vs. 18.59%), but charge-offs and allowances for bad debts were both lower. The net interest margin slipped again, 3.29% vs. 3.39%, and the efficiency ratio worsened slightly.
Growth, though, was pretty good. Average loan balances increased almost 17%, with about 58% growth in residential real estate loans. Commercial lending is a big part of the story here (more than 60% of total loans), and that business grew at a mid-teens clip. On the other side of the ledger, average deposits rose more than 8%, while the cost of interest-bearing funds rose about 55%.
It appears that the stock has been trading more or less in the vicinity of its valuation range for the past couple of years, and closer analysis suggests that it's neither overvalued nor a tremendous bargain. And while I have nothing at all against this bank (and quite like its growth profile), other Midwestern players such as TCF Financial
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Fool contributor Stephen Simpson has no financial interest in any stocks mentioned (that means he's neither long nor short the shares).