By Michael Souza
PBN Staff Writer
WESTERLY – Research analysts at Keefe Bruyette & Woods Inc., an investment banking firm, has named Washington Trust Bancorp Inc., the parent company of The Washington Trust Company, to their Bank Honor Roll of superior performers for 2011.
The Honor Roll includes 45 banks and thrifts that have performed strongly over the past 10 years. Washington Trust, the largest independent bank headquartered in Rhode Island, was the only Rhode Island Bank included in the roll.
Eligibility was limited to banks with more than $500 million in assets that have reported no annual loss per share before extraordinary items – infrequent and unusual gains or losses – over the last 10 years. Candidates must also have reported net income per share in 2011, before extraordinary items, equal to or greater than the peak net income per share over the past 10 years; and consecutive increases in net income per share, before extraordinary items, since 2009. KBW found that only 45 institutions out of nearly 400 companies screened qualified for inclusion.
“We are honored to be selected to the KBW Honor Roll for our 10-year performance,” said Joseph J. MarcAurele, Washington Trust chairman, president and chief executive officer. “Washington Trust is a solid institution with a strong history, which has continued to grow and remain profitable during challenging economic times.”
The Bank Honor Roll is a way for KBW to acknowledge companies that have managed to successfully navigate a variety of obstacles as they have arisen, despite difficult conditions in what remains a growth-challenged environment. In terms of stock price performance, Bank Honor Roll companies significantly outperformed both the banking industry and the overall stock market during the five-year period between 2006 and 2011.
Last year, the bank also garnered notice on Sandler O’Neill + Partners’ “2011 Bank and Thrift Sm-All-Stars” report as one of the top 25 small-cap institutions in the United States, and was ranked 40 on Bank Director magazine’s annual Bank Performance Scorecard list of the top 150 publicly-listed banks in America.