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U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray Initiates Coverage of Five Growth Commercial Bank Stocks

Analyst Initiates Coverage of TCB, SWBT, CFBX, GBBK and BPFH

Company Release - 9/6/2001 12:00 AM ET
NEW YORK, Sept. 6 /PRNewswire/ --

U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray Senior Financial Institutions Analyst Andrew Collins today initiated coverage of TCF Financial Corporation (NYSE: TCB- $43.99, #) with a Strong Buy rating, Southwest Bancorporation of Texas, Inc. (NASDAQ: SWBT--$32.32, #) and Community First Bankshares, Inc. (NASDAQ: CFBX--$24.70, #) with Buy ratings and Greater Bay Bancorp (NASDAQ: GBBK--$25.81, #) and Boston Private Financial Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: BPFH--$20.90, #) with Neutral ratings. Collins sees these organizations as among the best fundamental performers within the small capitalization bank group, which consists of the top 31-130 banks ranked by market capitalization.

Collins believes that although these small banks may be subject to the economies of their respective regions, their performance could be much more driven by a unique strategy within their respective niches. ``In our assessment, these five growth banks have the common characteristic of rapidly expanding deposits in highly attractive areas,'' said Collins. ``More specifically, these banks have been able to successfully expand through acquisitions and de novo branch openings.''

Additionally, from a valuation perspective, Collins states that the average growth bank has historically traded at a higher price/earnings multiple than the typical small capitalization bank.

``However,'' Collins says, ``this gap has narrowed significantly to a two times difference, from an eight times difference at the beginning of 2001, primarily given price weakness in shares of Greater Bay and Southwest Bancorporation. In our assessment, this could potentially provide some favorable buying opportunities in selected growth names, including TCF Financial, Southwest, and Community First.''

The TCF and Community First franchises serve local communities in several states of the United States, including in the attractive Midwest and Western regions of the U.S. Southwest Bancorporation of Texas is Houston's largest independent bank and has gained business from the larger players particularly in treasury management. Greater Bay Bancorp primarily caters to small to medium size businesses in Northern California, with significant niche lending in commercial real estate, construction and private equity. Finally, Collins sees Boston Private as a consolidator of investment management, financial planning and private banking services.

U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray, a subsidiary of Minneapolis-based U.S. Bancorp (NYSE: USB - news), provides a full range of investment products and services to businesses, institutions and individuals. The company's investment banking business has grown exponentially in the last several years by focusing on the needs of growth companies in the health care, technology, financial institutions, consumer and industrial growth sectors. U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray has a national reputation for its expertise in fundamental research and equity and debt financing. U.S. Bancorp offers a comprehensive range of financial solutions through U.S. Bank, First American Asset Management, U.S. Bancorp Libra Investments and U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray. Securities products and services offered through U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray, Inc., member SIPC and NYSE, Inc., a subsidiary of U.S. Bancorp.

Some or all of the following hedges may apply. (#) U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray, Inc., makes a market in the company's securities. (~) An U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray, Inc., officer, director or other employee is a director and/or officer of the company. (@) Within the past three years, U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray, Inc., was managing underwriter of an offering of, or dealer manager of a tender offer for, the company's securities of an affiliate. Additional information is available upon request. Not FDIC Insured. No Bank Guarantee. May lose value.

This material is based on data obtained from sources we deem to be reliable; it is not guaranteed as to accuracy and does not purport to be complete. This information is not intended to be used as the primary basis of investment decisions. Because of individual client requirements, it should not be construed as advice designed to meet the particular investment needs of any investor. It is not a representation by us or an offer or the solicitation of an offer to sell or buy any security. Further, a security described in this release may not be eligible for solicitation in the states in which the client resides. U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray individual officers, employees, or members of their families may own securities mentioned and may purchase or sell those securities in the open market or otherwise. In the United Kingdom, this report may only be distributed or passed on to persons of the kind described in Article 11 (3) of the Financial Services Act of 1986 (Investment Advertisements) (Exemptions) Order 1996 (as amended by the Financial Services Act 1986 Investment Advertisements) (Exemptions Order 1997).

Nondeposit investment products are not insured by the FDIC, are not deposits or other obligations of or guaranteed by U.S. Bank National Association or its affiliates, and involve investment risks, including possible loss of the principal amount invested. Securities products and services are offered through U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray Inc., member SIPC and NYSE, Inc., a subsidiary of U.S. Bancorp. (5/99-0679)

U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray Inc. is a member of the National Association of Securities Dealers, CRD number 665.

SOURCE: U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray

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