A few days ago I purchased 60 shares of Southside Bancshares (SBSI), a small regional bank in Texas. I purchased this particular stock to get back into the financial sector. I try to stay diversified through sectors and needed a financial due to liquidations over the past few months. It is a small position which I may add to in the future. I got in at just over $21, which is okay. I'd be happier closer to $20, but I cannot let my cash pile up too high. Anyways I'm glad to have a bank back in my line up.
Southside is a small cap stock and operates around 50 banks in the state of Texas. SBSI is very shareholder friendly; they offer cash dividend increases, special cash dividends, and also stock dividends. I like this combination, and feel more comfortable with a regional bank compared to large banks such as BAC. SBSI has had annual dividend increases for 17 years, has a yield of about 3.4%, and sports a 36% payout ratio. It currently has a P/E of around 9.2, and a P/B of 1.3. Fidelity.com projects that it will grow EPS by 2% in the coming years which might be a reason the P/E is so low.
In other news I've been extremely busy lately. I didn't have any days off for almost 2 weeks, I'm glad that's over. I've been doing really good budget wise plus I've made some extra money on the side. New investment money should be higher than usual in February, I'm excited about that. I spent some time reading articles and posts on the Early Retirement Extreme forums and it has helped me focus on staying frugal. I've been trying to rely less on my car, drink fewer energy drinks, use more coupons, and curb my tobacco use. So far so good.