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Ameris (ABCB) Completes Hamilton State Bancshares Merger

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Ameris Bancorp (ABCB - Free Report) recently completed the acquisition of Hamilton State Bancshares, Inc., in an effort to expand into the Atlanta markets. Consequently, Hamilton State Bank, the banking subsidiary of Hamilton has been merged with Ameris’ subsidiary, Ameris Bank.

Hamilton, with nearly $1.8 billion in assets, conducted its operations through almost 28 banking locations.

At the time of the announcement of the deal, Edwin W. Hortman, Jr., the executive chairman, president and CEO of Ameris stated, “Atlanta is the largest market in Georgia and one of the largest markets in the entire Southeast. While we have had a small presence in Atlanta for a number of years, we have been looking for an opportunity to expand our presence in this important market.”

He added, “We believe that partnering with Bob and his team and the low-cost core deposit franchise that they have built is a fantastic way to jump start our Atlanta strategy.”

Now, with the acquisition of Hamilton, the combined company will have nearly 1.4 billion of deposits in the Atlanta metropolitan area. Moreover, the bank has become the 13th largest bank within the Atlanta markets.

Notably, following the acquisition, shares of Ameris have gained nearly 1.8%.

At the time of the announcement of the merger, the deal was valued at $405.7 million.

Per the terms of the agreement, which remains the same as before, each shareholder of Hamilton’s common stock and each restricted stock unit are entitled to receive $0.93 in cash and 0.16 shares of Ameris common stock. Notably, the cash payment will be in lieu of fractional shares of Ameris common stock.

Along with the deal closure, Ameris also announced that it is likely to release its second-quarter 2018 results on Jul 27, before the market opens.

Shares of Ameris have gained 10.2% in a year’s time, marginally outperforming the industry’s growth of 8.4%.


 

The stock currently has a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).

A few better-ranked stocks from the same industry are Capstar Financial Holdings, Inc. (CSTR - Free Report) , Community Trust Bancorp, Inc. (CTBI - Free Report) and FCB Financial Holdings, Inc. (FCB - Free Report) .

Over the past 60 days, Capstar Financial has witnessed an upward earnings estimate revision of 2.7% for the current year. Over the past year, its share price has risen 5.4%. The stock currently sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Over the past 60 days, Community Trust Bancorp’s earnings estimates have been revised 1.8% upward for the current year. Additionally, its share price has increased 14.2% over the past 12 months. It currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

FCB Financial also has a Zacks Rank of 2. Over the past 60 days, its earnings estimates for 2018 have been marginally revised upward. Shares of the company have rallied 22.1% in a year’s time.

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