UPDATE 2-People's United Q1 profit misses Street view

viernes 17 de abril de 2009 00:24 CEST

* Q1 EPS $0.08 vs estimate of $0.10 * Raises annual dividend by $0.01 * Q1 net interest income falls 14 pct to $142.8 mln

* Shares fall almost 5 pct after the bell (Adds analyst comments, details)

By Anurag Kotoky

BANGALORE, April 16 (Reuters) - People's United Financial Inc (PBCT.O: Cotización) posted a 77 percent jump in its first-quarter profit, but the results fell short of market estimates on margin pressure and a drop in net interest income.

Apart from the higher margin pressure, the company's results were solid, Anthony Polini, an analyst at Raymond James told Reuters.

"Their credit quality is probably in the top one percent in the nation. Their balance sheet is rock solid. They are just going to have these low levels of earnings until we get higher interest rates or they leverage their capital through acquisitions or putting on more assets," Polini said by phone.

People's United, which expects to double or triple its asset size over the next two to five years, has been one of the better capitalized banks in the country.

The company still feels it is best to exercise patience as it works toward an acquisition that will enhance the long-term profitability of the company, Chief Executive Philip Sherringham said in a statement.

According to analyst Polini, it could take a year or at least six months for the company to go for an acquisition, despite an excess liquidity of about $2 billion on its balance sheet. "They have narrowed down their search to the point where there is hardly anyone on the list."   Continuación...