Exchange Bank, Santa Rosa, CA (EXSR)

A Case of a Bank and a Trust


Exchange Bank is a good buy you can trust to do good in more ways than one. I can't name a single other billion dollar bank in the country with ROA above 1% and ROE above 10% that still trades at a discount to book value. In the next three years, I expect EXSR will trade above its pre-Great Recession high of $153.72 per share, so I'm buying while the stock is still cheap.

And I feel darn good about it, because making money right along with me will be the Frank P. and Polly O'Meara Doyle Trust, which owns 51% of the bank and has been using its own dividends to fund thousands of scholarships for Santa Rosa Junior College students since 1950.

Disclosure: As of this posting, I own shares of EXSR and may subsequently either dispose of them or purchase more.

Prospective Buyers
Exchange Bank would be an appealing addition to these three institutions operating in the neighborhood, but since I'm a stand for the bank staying independent, I'll just leave it at that.
Rabobank, Netherlands (RABO, on Netherlands Exchange)
Umpqua Holdings, Portland, OR (UMPQ)
Westamerica Bancorp, San Rafael, CA (WABC)
Financial Snapshot
as of 03/31/2015

Total assets:
$1.9B
Tangible book value per share:
$96.72
NPAs to assets:
2.95%
Price to book:
86.3%
Market cap:
$143.1M
Dividend yield:
2.6%
Trailing 12-month return on assets:
1.03%
Trailing 12-month return on equity:
11.8%
TARP:
$0*
*Redeemed $43M July 26, 2012 
Luminaries
William R. Schrader, Chairman
Gary Hartwick, President and CEO
Greg Zahn, Executive VP and CFO
Gold Stars
Exchange Bank of Santa Rosa, CA has done plenty to earn the trust of its community and shareholders. In particular, it merits a nice row of Gold Stars for:

Doing its Founding Father proud. I feel like Frank and Polly Doyle are the true luminaries in the Exchange Bank story. All too often, family-owned institutions, at best, peter out over the years, or more commonly, fall victim to nepotism and malaise with succeeding generations. In stark contrast, the Doyle Family legacy is a Trust that Founding Father Manville Doyle's son Frank and daughter-in-law Polly specifically designed to keep the interests of the community and shareholders first and foremost for the life of the institution.

Doing measurable good in its community. Banks talk a lot about community service, but it'd be hard to find one that tops the good Exchange Bank does every year in its hometown. Since 1950, the Frank P. and Polly O'Meara Doyle Family Trust has used its honestly earned dividends to pay out over $80M in scholarships that have helped some 122,000 students attend Santa Rosa Junior College. In a town whose population doesn't appear to exceed 175,000, it's arguable this bank and Trust have been upskilling an entire workforce!

Doing right by its shareholders.Exchange Bank's Managers and Directors deserve special mention here as well. They guided the bank effectively through the Great Recession, have already grown book value by 67% since EXSR's 2009 low, and appear on course to deliver even greater returns — for which those of us who were left holding worthless shares in one or more of the hundreds of banks that failed in that Recession are truly grateful.
Sources