UPDATE: Community West Bancshares, Goleta, CA (CWBC)

What a difference a few years (and some decent leadership) can make! Since my May 2012 review, Community West Bancshares has shifted from losing money to making money, cut its NPAs in half, and seen its regulatory consent orders lifted. CWBC stock is still trading below tangible book — so were the bank to sell at 1.5x book as currently trending in Southern California — today's investor could net a 50% return.
Disclosure: As of this posting, I own shares of CWBC and may subsequently either dispose of them or purchase more.

Prospective Buyers
PacWest Bancorp, Los Angeles, CA (PACW)
Umpqua Holdings, Portland, OR (UMPQ)
AmericanWest Bank, Spokane, WA (private) 
Financial Snapshot
(as of 06/30/2014)

Total assets:
$557M
Tangible book value per share:
$6.90
NPAs to assets:
2.9%
Price to book:
96%
Market cap:
$54.1M
Dividend yield:
1.2%
Trailing 12-month return on assets:
1.63%
Trailing 12-month return on equity:
13.3%
TARP:
$7.8M*
*US Treasury resold CWBC's $15.6M TARP 12/3/2012. $7.8M was redeemed 6/20/2014. $7.8M remains outstanding. 
The Crew
William Peeples, Chairman
Martin Plourd, Acting President and CEO
Robert Bartlein, Vice Chairman
The Skinny
Good News. 
  • Happily, my concerns about CEO Marty Plourd have proven to be unfounded — he has done an excellent job returning CWBC to profitability
  • NPAs are down from March 2012's 6.9% to today's 2.9%
  • Consent agreements with both the Federal Reserve and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency have been lifted
  • CWBC stock has recovered from 2012's low price of $1.35 per share and the bank is back to paying common stock dividends
  • Insiders Baltuskonis, Bartlein, Onnen and Stovesand are purchasing shares in the open market
Sad News. 
  • COO Michael Phlaum passed away this July due to complications of a stroke
Bad News. 
  • Although the stock has recovered nicely to today's $6.60, shareholders would have done much better with a 2012 sale to PacWest for book value, as PWBC shares have more than doubled
  • Chairman Peeples and CEO Plourd must not think there's more immediate upside, for they both sold some of their shares recently
  • CWBC's current profitability is still insufficient to justify remaining independent 
Sources

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