Basswood Capital Ups Stake in NewBridge Bancorp (NBBC)

A new filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission showed that Matthew Lindenbaum‘s Basswood Capital has raised its stake in NewBridge Bancorp (NASDAQ:NBBC) to 5.85% of the company’s class A stock. Basswood currently holds around 1.48 million class A shares of NewBridge, versus 746,800 shares disclosed in the fund’s latest 13F filing.

NewBridge Bancorp

The move comes amid the announcement according to which, NewBridge Bancorp (NASDAQ:NBBC)’s and CapStone Bank’s shareholders have voted in favor of the merger of NewBridge’s wholly-owned subsidiary, NewBridge Bank and CapStone Bank. After the merger takes place, NewBridge Bank will become a $2.4 billion institution with 40 branches and offices throughout North Carolina.

NewBridge Bancorp (NASDAQ:NBBC), a $206 million bank holding company, has posted a net income of $18.9 million, or $0.65 per diluted share for the last year, which represents a significant improvement from a loss of $28.2 million reported a year earlier. At the same time, the income was above the analysts estimate of $0.46 per share. The stock of the company trails a Price to Earnings of around 11.xx, which is a bit lower than the average for the Regional Mid-Atlantic Banks P/E of 17.xx. Moreover, the company has a forward P/E of also around 11.xx, and a Price/Earnings to Growth Ratio of over 3.00.

Aside from Basswood Capital, some other hedge funds have also been bullish on NewBridge Bancorp (NASDAQ:NBBC) during the last quarter of 2013. Endicott Management, managed by Robert I. Usdan and Wayne K. Goldstein, reported holding 2.50 million shares of the bank holding company, valued at $18.6 million. Anton Schutz‘s Mendon Capital Advisors holds a less significant stake, which contains 296,500, worth $2.2 million. Emanuel Friedman’s EJF Capital, at the end of last year, held over 511,900 shares of NewBridge.

Basswood Capital reported last week, that Mr. Lindenbaum was appointed as director to Hudson Valley Holding Corp. (NYSE:HVB)’s board. The fund holds 9.83% of the company’s stock. The fund holds the largest chunk of its 13F portfolio invested in Financial stocks, with Synovus Financial Corp. (NYSE:SNV) representing the largest holding worth $77.59 million, which contains 21.55 million shares.

Disclosure: none

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