investing

The Best Stock in West Virginia: WesBanco

We analyzed publicly traded companies based in the Mountain State to identify the best stock in West Virginia to buy now.

We scoured the nation to identify the best stock in every state. WesBanco (symbol WSBC) is the publicly traded company we picked in West Virginia. The company headquarters is located in Wheeling.

A word of caution: Since we selected a single stock from each state (plus one from D.C), and choices in some states are sparse, a few of our picks are best suited to investors comfortable with a higher degree of risk. This is not necessarily one of our 51 favorite stocks in the entire U.S., in other words.

WesBanco by the Numbers

  • Headquarters: Wheeling
  • Share price: $37.81
  • Market value: $1.7 billion
  • Price-earnings ratio: 15

(Prices and data are as of June 22, 2017)

WesBanco is the holding company for WesBanco Bank, which provides financial services at 174 branches in West Virginia, Ohio and western Pennsylvania.

The stock has fallen 11% this year, amid uncertainty surrounding the bank approaching $10 billion in assets – a threshold at which banks face greater regulatory scrutiny. Miguel del Gallego, a portfolio manager at ClearBridge Small Cap Value, which holds the stock, sees the recent dip as an unwarranted discount in the stock’s price. He concedes that near-term earnings could be dinged as management adjusts to more regulation, but he remains confident of the bank’s ability to navigate the process and return to delivering share-price gains and dividends that he says “are among the best, relative to peers.” He adds that the management team has a track record for successful acquisitions under CEO Todd Clossin and that the bank could seek to offset heightened compliance costs by boosting revenues via more mergers. Del Gallego believes $45 a share is a fair value for the stock over the next 12 months, representing a 19% gain on the current share price.

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