Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.
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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