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Mercantile Bancorp Inc. (AMEX: MBR) Offers a Durable Financial Business Model

The management of this holding stock in the financial sector has demonstrated strong adaptive capabilities. The corporation has responded to the difficult 2007 business environment admirably. It has ended the year with a marginal decline in net income compared to the same period for the previous year, but continues to maintain substantial revenue, profitability, and stock value as it leads other regional banks and the financial sector in general.

This stock owns operating subsidiary banks in Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, and Florida. It also has minority interests in regional banks of Georgia, Colorado, Tennessee, and North Carolina. The management has a concrete strategy in place to guide its acquisitions. The holding company has a distinctly mid-western rural bias, but has steadily extended its business to other parts of the United States and to growing urban centers as well.

The Solera Bancorp is a telling example of how the company management plans business expansion: it has invested in this new Denver organization, which specifically targets the large Hispanic population in this important part of Colorado. The management has been equally agile in acquiring interests in regional banks in dynamic suburbs of Atlanta and Los Angeles.

The stock is protected by adequate collateral to realize principal amounts in doubtful advances for commercial real estate. The balance sheet provides adequately for defaults on individual loans. However, management steps to improve loan processing are more reassuring from an investor’s perspective. The management model of community banking is sound for stock investment prospects. The Price to Earnings Ratio over the last 4 quarters is 14.60 compared to 15.22 for the financial sector, and the Price to Free Cash Flow on this basis is nearly twice than that for other regional banks.

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