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What: Shares of Irish banking group Allied Irish Banks
So what: The beleaguered bank announced earnings today, showing a 2010 loss of $14.7 billion, as compared to a loss of $3.4 billion in 2009. The bank also said that 34% of its loans in the Republic of Ireland are troubled -- whether on watch or currently impaired. The group also plans to cut 2,000 jobs over the next two years.
Now what: Interestingly, Reuters' coverage said that Allied Irish has been "effectively nationalized." While that's true, there's still a very big difference between "effectively" and "fully" for the remaining Allied Irish shareholders. The bank's continued struggles -- along with the $19 billion in needed capital that's expected to largely come from the government -- don't paint an encouraging picture, though. At this point, this stock is a bet mainly for those with a gambling streak who are willing to accept the risk of total loss for the potential of a big gain if Allied Irish does skirt full nationalization. For more conservative investors, this is a definite pass.
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Fool contributor Matt Koppenheffer does not have a financial interest in any of the companies mentioned. You can check out what Matt is keeping an eye on by visiting his CAPS portfolio, or you can follow Matt on Twitter @KoppTheFool or on his RSS feed. The Fool’s disclosure policy prefers dividends over a sharp stick in the eye.