Riverview Bancorp directors buying its stock

Large purchases may be a sign that it is undervalued

By Gordon Oliver, Columbian business editor

Published:

 

Forbes Magazine’s DividendChannel.com took note Friday of what it called strong insider buying at Riverview Bancorp, Inc., Vancouver-based parent of Riverview Community Bank.

Three board members made large stock purchases on three consecutive days last week, in what could be a sign that the stock is undervalued.

The Forbes report indicated that Riverview Bancorp board chairman and chief executive officer Patrick Sheaffer purchased 11,061 shares while directors Jerry C. Olson and Bessie Ross Wills each purchased 2,000 shares. The purchases were made Tuesday through Thursday at prices ranging from $2.21 to $2.29 per share.

The publication said that such a “cluster-buy,” or purchase by three or more insiders within a short time, is typically a strong indication that stock is undervalued. It notes that Riverview’s stock price over the last 52 days ranged from $2 to $3.34 per share.

Friday’s $2.15-per-share close put Riverview’s market capitalization — the value of all of its shares — at $47.98 million, less than half the bank’s Sept. 30 net asset value of $108.66 million.

Also this week, Wunderlich Securities downgraded Riverview Bancorp from “Buy” to “Hold” and cut its price target from $4 to $2.50.

Olson, Sheaffer, and Wills could not be reached for comment Friday.

After the sale of First Independent Bank to Sterling Savings Bank, which is expected to close in early 2012, Riverview will be the last remaining Clark County-headquartered bank.