ICB Financial (OTC: ICBN), saw its stock rise $0.55 by closing time today after it was announced that that the company’s subsidiary, Inland Community Bank, would be merging with AmericanWest Bank (OTC: AWBCQ). The transaction will be accomplished through a merger of ICB Financial and AmericanWest Bank’s holding company. The merger is expected to close later this year.
Inland Community Bank, based in Ontario, California, serves the Southern California area, with locations in Los Angeles, Ontario, Pasadena, Duarte and Rialto. The merger will increase the bank’s exposure in the area. AmericanWest Bank operates 74 branches in California, Idaho, Utah and Washington. Inland Community Banks’s assets total about $221 million, while AmericanWest’s assets are at $2.5 billion.
After a steep drop from $4.12 on June 19, 2012, to $3.76 on June 20, 2012, the stock has held steady at that price until inching up a penny on July 12, 2012. The price remained steady once again until it all changed with today’s activity. After closing at $3.77 last night, the stock opened at $4.28 this morning and rose to $4.35 before closing at $4.32, posting a 15% increase. The company reached its 52-week high on March 29, 2012, when the price rose to $4.44. It remained at $4.44 the next day before dropping to $4.00, rising back up to $4.25 and experiencing mostly downward or stagnant activity since then. The company saw its lowest price linger at $2.15 for nearly two weeks in September 2011.
Volume for ICB was much higher than average as well. In fact, it was a busy trading day for the company with more than 365,000 shares traded. This marked a new 52-week high. The company’s daily average is 596 shares. The company saw some huge increases in volume in late March and early April 2012, when volume shot up to 33,500 shares, then 70,000 shares and then 116,615 shares before dropping down to virtually no activity.
Before today’s merger, ICB has basically been out of the spotlight. It has had no other news activity since last year, so it is very unlikely that the company’s upward stock activity will last long, unless there are other activities in the works. It also has not been promoted in any penny stock newsletters. Although the gains may continue for a few days, this stock likely has no lasting power. ICB’s stock activity in the next few days will determine if investors should be watching this stock more closely.
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