First Internet Bank, Indianapolis, IN (FIBP)

A Case of Full Steam Ahead on the Internet Highway

Given First Internet Bank's stellar performance over the past year, I've been bullish on FIBP stock for some time. And now that the bank has hired prominent banker John Keech from Indiana Community Bank, I'd say FIBP just upgraded from steam engine to high-speed rail. If you want to ride this train to profit, there's still time to buy while stock is cheap!

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

Prospective Buyers
Bank of Internet, San Diego, CA (BOFI), as the leader in the more-or-less "branchless banking" space in which First Internet was born, would be a logical acquirer
Fifth Third, Cincinnati, OH (FITB) has been expanding its internet bank offerings and has branches in First Internet's "home town" of Indianapolis
Financial Snapshot
(as of 09/30/2012)

Total assets:
Tangible book value per share:
NPAs to assets:
Price to book:
Market cap:
Dividend yield:
Trailing 12-month return on assets:
Trailing 12-month return on equity:
David B. Becker, Chairman, President, and CEO
Laurinda A. Swank, Senior VP, Secretary, and CFO

Gold Stars
The FIBP money train
  • FIBP is an "Internet Bank" in the truest sense, that is, it offers almost exclusively online banking services and products, with little to no reliance on physical bank branch locations
  • The engineer on board is a unique leader. More of a "tech guy" than a conventional banker, David Becker has been bringing fresh thinking to the game for years, for which he earned a prestigious Sagamore of the Wabash award 
  • Like the famous Wabash express, FIBP is physically headquartered in Indiana, between Detroit and St. Louis, although it mostly operates "virtually"
On the right track
  • FIBP earnings have grown for the past 5 quarters, and more than doubled: from $765K (or $.40 a share) in Q3 2011 to $1.6M (or $.85 a share) in Q3 2012
  • First Internet is doing banking right — adding loans, expanding business, holding expenses
  • Although FIBP stock has doubled, at current prices of 65% of book value, or 7.8 times its past 12 months earnings, it's still cheap
Picking up steam
  • FIBP recently added an impressive woman executive to its board, Ann Murtlow, Director of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago and former President and CEO of Indianapolis Power and Light
  • I highly anticipate that new hire John Keech will bring assets and lending talent to FIBP from Indiana Community Bank (INCB), which was recently acquired by Old National (ONB), given how other banks have profited by snapping up talent in the wake of Old National's acquisitions
Overtaking the competition
  • FIBP would need to more than double book value to overtake its primary competitor, Bank of Internet (BOFI), which is currently trading at about 170% of book
  • Opportunities abound for FIBP to improve its offer, website, and brand to be less confusing and more compelling in an environment where nearly every bank now offers Internet Banking
  • Similarly, it looks to me like even a little investment in PR, search engine optimization, and social media would dramatically raise FIBP's brand within its actual target market — the nation's most "wired" Internet users


  1. A lot has changed in the past 12 months at First Internet Bancorp. And I agree with you about the high quality of management as reflected in the design of the loan portfolio, which is much more balanced than BOFI.

    However, share value is off since INBK raised $29 million pushing share count from 2.9 to 4.4 million in late November. What is your opinion now? Who might INBK buy? Is IBBI a possibility? A one office Indianapolis bank with a cleaned-up balance sheet and about $60 million in assets selling at 60% BV.

    This point may not be of any interest to you, but the consistent high quality of written communication to customers/shareholders has always made a positive impression on me. A good thing since there is rarely any person-to-person contact.

  2. Buff- Thank you for your thoughts and comments. I think it is a disgrace the way Sandler prices these secondaries 'in the hole' like they did here for INBK and previously with SMBC. They then give Sandler Management big chunks which create an overhang on the market.

    That said, I still like INBK. They've had a couple light quarters which have held the shares back as well but I think they'll do better and at some point the stock will deserve to trade at a decent premium to book value.

    They've said in the past that they are interested in acquisitions so I think anything is possible although of late they've been content to just hire away talent which I like. It's cheaper.

    As for IBBI, I have owned some for a couple of years. Your assessment is spot on. Cleaned up and cheap. I've always believed that if and when IBBI wanted to sell that Stock Yards Bank & Trust (S.Y. Bancorp) would be the buyer as their president James Hillebrand sits on the IBBI board and has an ownership stake at higher prices.

    Good luck and again, thanks for writing.