First Niagara Financial Group

First Niagara is one of the few companies getting ahead of the curve. The key drivers of our positive bias are: 1) the company’s excess capital position awards them flexibility in future growth opportunities; 2) it is one of the few companies that is actually executing on those opportunities; and 3) recent acquisitions provide visible earnings growth and profitability.”

“We commend First Niagara’s vision and opportunistic growth strategy, as the company has set a goal to be approximately a $20 billion bank by 2010. This would represent more than 100% growth in a little over a year. Clearly there are risks involved in such rapid growth; however, if First Niagara can continue to capitalize on “smart” acquisition opportunities, we think the earnings power and franchise positioning could drive them to be a formidable competitor and investment idea in the Northeast.” - Collyn Bement Gilbert, Stifel Nicolaus, October 2009.

First Niagara Financial Group
“This quarter, FNFG will wrap up implementation planning of its Strategic Blueprint. Actual roll-out is expected in Q1 2005. As of today, management has yet to provide much detail about the initiative, other than it will be phased in over 14-15 months and is designed to make the company more customer centric, sales focused, and performance driven. We think the Blueprint will prove instrumental in moving FNFG closer to a targeted low-50% efficiency ratio within 2-3 years.” - Ryan Beck & Co., analyst Anthony Davis, October 2004.

Signet Financial Corporation

“Senior Management of Signet Bank released the findings of the company’s seven-month corporate design program, ADVANCE. In our view, the details of the financial plans are better, and certaintly more comprehensive, than expected.” - Thomas D. McCandless, NatWest Securities, June 1997.

First Niagara Financial Group

Upstate NY Powerhouse Spreads its Wings: With its strong capital position and conservative underwriting, the company has been increasing its market share throughout the economic downturn while generating relatively strong operating performances. Furthermore, it has a long and outstanding track record for superb credit quality. Accordingly, it has benefited from the economic downturn by capitalizing on dislocations in and out of market as its competitors are inwardly focused on credit quality and capital concerns.”

“Management has been on the offensive and has capitalized on growth opportunities as many of its competitors are inwardly focused on balance sheet issues. Very strong credit quality and capital ratios underscore its keen risk-management skills, as does its ability to negotiate covenants associated with recent acquisitions that limit credit risk.” - Raymond James, September 2009.”

First Niagara Financial Group
FNFG: Momentum to Continue in New Year, Reiterate Outperform Rating. As we head into 2010, we revisit our longer term view on the shares of FNFG. Actions taken in 2009 are expected to continue to build momentum in the coming year and beyond. While we make no changes to our 2010 estimates at this time, we we increase our price target to $16 from $15 reflecting stronger earnings power. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, January 2010.

U.S. Bancorp

“[U.S. Bancorp] was recently ranked as the number two financial institution in the world for shareholder performance among the world’s 400 biggest banks, insurers and securities houses in total shareholder return over a five-year span.” - The Economist, 2002.

U.S. Bancorp
“Demonstrating robust loan growth, tight efficiency, and clean credit quality, Star Banc delivered a hefty annualized return on assets… The institution endured scathing criticism in 1992 after rejecting a $42 per-share buyout offer from rival Fifth Third Bancorp. Fighting back, the bank delved into a design that sharply improved Star Banc’s profitability.” – “Star Banc Shines”, American Banker, July 1994.

First Niagara Financial Group

May 14th 2013 TheStreet Ratings rates First Niagara Financial Group as a Buy

The company’s strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, good cash flow from operations, expanding profit margins, growth in earnings per share and increase in net income. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity.

First Niagara Financial Group hit a new 52-week high Tuesday as it is currently trading at $9.88, above its previous 52-week high of $9.79 with 2.1 million shares traded as of 12:56 p.m. ET. Average volume has been 4.4 million shares over the past 30 days.

By TheStreet Wire 05/14/13 – 01:20 PM EDT

FNFG management deserves a significant measure of credit for not stretching for growth at prohibitive cost in better times. Instead, management worked to optimize the existing franchise, and positioned the company to eventually take advantage when an attractive expansion opportunity presented itself. The company’s restored capital cushion following the recent equity raise also serves as a significant buffer for potential problems. Sandler O’Neill & Partners, January 2010.

“Amid this backdrop First Niagara (FNFG, Buy) is our favorite nameā€¦ In a difficult environment we like self-help stories such First Niagara as we see higher than appreciated normalized EPS via synergies from recent deals. Moreover, the recent equity raise provides capital certainty” - Goldman Sachs, September 2009.

St. George Bank

“Our view: St. George’s FY 01 result hit all the right buttons… easily the best of the banks who have reported so far. The main positive result was the 15% growth in recurring non-interest income in 2H01… reflecting continued growth in managed fund fees and Best Bank related increases… St. George has made exceptional progress in diversifying its revenue mix… St. George’s efficiency levels also compare favourably to the major banks with the cost to income ratio plunging 5% over the year. It remains encouraging that customer and staff satisfaction increased.” – “FY01 Result: Best Bank”, Deutsche Bank, November 7, 2001.

First Security Corporation

“First Security’s design program, Project VISION, is resulting in significant improvements in profitability and efficiency.” - “The Best the World Has to Offer: Our Top Global Stock Picks for 1997″, Salomon Brothers