January 2014 Timyan Bank Alert™ review of AmeriServ Financial is still true: AmeriServ is no "five star performer." Nor is it a "mismanaged underperformer." It is still, however, a pretty good bank that is trading below book value with not a single Wall Street analyst following it. Which makes it a great "seize the moment," no-brainer kind of buy for the enterprising investor.
Disclosure: As of this posting, I own shares of ASRV and may subsequently either dispose of them or purchase more.
Although AmeriServ's #1 market share position in six Pennsylvania towns is attractive, its status as a unionized bank makes it unlikely another bank will seek to buy it.
F.N.B. Corp - Pittsburgh, PA (FNB) - relocated from Hermitage
Northwest Bancshares, Inc - Warren, PA (NWBI)
†as of 12/31/2016
Craig Ford, Chairman
Jeffrey Stopko, President and CEO (promoted from CFO)
Michael Lynch, Senior VP, CFO, Chief Risk and Investment Officer
This is still a pretty good bank. AmeriServ has reported profits in 24 out of the last 25 quarters.
Insiders know what an opportunity they have here. Insider ownership of ASRV remains pretty high at 8.8% and growing. There have been numerous insider buys in the open market in the past year alone, and only one sell.
Thankfully, AmeriServ Management is also shareholder friendly, as evidenced by their recent decision to buy back up to 5% of ASRV stock in the open market.
Investors can still make money here. ASRV is the cheapest billion dollar bank stock in the U.S. I believe that within two years, AmeriServ will be reporting quarterly earnings of 10¢ per share, book value will have hit the high $5 range, and ASRV will trading near book value. If I am right, that portends a healthy 50% gain over today's share price.