First Midwest: Our stock’s not bad either

First Midwest Bank, which J.D. Power last week said had the best customer service in Chicago and in the Midwest, isn’t doing too shabby in the stock performance department either.

 Last Saturday, the Chicago Tribune reported on a study of 62 bank stocks by Evercore Partners. The study found that, of 16 stocks of local interest, only MB Financial outperformed both the Standard & Poor’s 500 and its bank index.

 First Midwest wasn’t included in study, and on Saturday morning it contacted the Tribune to kindly point out that it’s no slouch when it comes to its stock performance either.

 “While First Midwest is not included in the listing prepared by John Pancari, analyst at Evercore, just wanted to note that if you looked at our stock price change from 12/31/10 through (April 21), as the list does, that First Midwest would be ahead of 11 banks that are on the list,” James Roolf, president of First Midwest in Joliet, said in an email.

 The S&P500 was up 6.3 percent in that time, while its bank index was down 5.8 percent.

 Had First Midwest been added to the 16 local bank stocks of interest, making 17, it would have ranked fifth, up 2.6 percent. That would have edged out PNC Financial’s 1.5 percent gain. Of the 16 banks on the Tribune’s list, only five were in positive territory, one was flat, and the rest were all down year to date.

Here’s a link to the Tribune story:,0,4955379.story


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