A day after New York Community Bancorp (NYCB -8.89%) outlined the consequences of its rapid expansion in 2023, Wall Street is chiming in with its own word of caution. New York Community shares are down 8% as of 2 p.m. ET Thursday, a day after the stock lost about one-third of its value.
Growth spurts have ramifications
New York Community Bancorp is a much larger company today than it was a year ago. In 2023, it first acquired Flagstar Bank to round out its commercial banking capabilities, and soon after that deal closed New York Community seized on the opportunity to acquire assets and liabilities of the failed Signature Bank from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.
On Wednesday, investors learned of the consequences of those moves. New York Community reported a surprise fourth-quarter loss, and announced plans to slash its dividend and take other “decisive actions to build capital.” The growth has pushed New York Community over the $100 billion in total assets threshold, which means new regulatory requirements.
The actions resulted in at least two downgrades on the stock from bullish to neutral, and several price target cuts. Investors appear to have been caught off guard by New York Community’s rapid ascension into the ranks of larger banks, and the company will need time to digest what it acquired and make sure it has the foundation that is required by regulators.
Is it time to go bargain shopping for New York Community stock?
New York Community shares are now down 42% for the year and are nearly 60% below their 52-week high.
There’s a good chance the sell-off is overdone. Yes, the actions the bank is taking have impacted the dividend and will weigh on earnings for quarters to come. But they are mostly one-time moves and they should help make sure that New York Community doesn’t go the way of Signature and end in ruin.
At some point, when the adjustment period is over, New York Community should be positioned to take advantage of the size, scale, and new capabilities that had investors excited coming into earnings. The question now is when we get to that point.
Those buying in now might eventually be rewarded, but a lot of patience will be required along the way.
Lou Whiteman has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.