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Bank of Marin Bancorp (BMRC): Bay Area Profits?

Bank of Marin (BMRC) is a bank holding company operating in Northern California. The company offers traditional banking services such as checking and savings accounts, direct deposit payroll, and certificates and loans to small and medium-sized businesses and non-profit organizations. Bank of Marin’s loan portfolio is comprised of commercial and retail lending programs that include commercial loans and lines of credit, construction financing, consumer loans, home equity lines of credit, commercial real estate loans and credit cards, as well as reverse mortgages, leases, and 401K plan management through third-party vendors.

Bank of Marin has been somewhat of an anomaly among financial stocks, performing well in the face of an adverse economic environment. While many large financial institutions have slashed their dividends or cut them entirely to save cash, Bank of Marin announced a new 14-cent quarterly dividend in July after reporting strong second quarter results. The company said second quarter net income rose 16.6 percent to $3.4 million, or 65 cents a share, up from $2.9 million, or 54 cents a share, in the year earlier period.

The California-based bank operates 11 branches, eight in Marin County, and three in Sonoma County, competing with the likes of Bank of America Corp. and Wells Fargo Bank. The company has almost $31.2 million in cash on hand and 5.14 million shares outstanding. Insiders hold about 13 percent of those shares and 21 institutions hold another 21 percent. Mutual fund owners include Fidelity and Vanguard. The last analyst rating of Bank of Marin came in July from DA Davidson with a rating of “buy.” That was an upgrade from “hold” and came with a price target of $36 a share.

Bank of Marin shares closed Monday at $32.85, up $1.47, making it one of the few stocks to close up on what was one of the worst days in history for US financial markets. The shares have traded between $24 and $33.60 over the past 52 weeks. Bank of Marin is a thinly traded stock, averaging just under 7,200 shares traded per day over the past three months. The company has a market value of $168.7 million.

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