From the Desk Of Irwin Michael – April 22, 2016

This week we would like to highlight East West Bancorp, a California-based regional bank specializing in a broad range of banking services in several states in the US as well as cities in China. The company reported strong results for Q1 2016. EPS of $0.74 beat analyst expectations of $0.67, primarily driven by better than expected margin expansion and lower non-interest expenses. Additionally, the company is forecasting a robust 2016 with strong loan growth of 8% and EPS guidance of 8% higher compared with 2015.

We continue to be optimistic about East West Bancorp’s outlook, since the company’s profitable niche is its bridge between America and China, which is providing steady business growth. The company is very well managed, with an expense ratio lower than its industry average. Considering its growth, banking efficiency ratio and niche focus, East West trades at a very attractive price multiple of approximately 13x forward earnings, which is a discount versus its regional banking peers. Looking ahead, East West Bancorp has a promising future and we believe its strong performance should continue for the remainder of this year and into 2017.

Irwin A. Michael Signature

Irwin A. Michael, President
I.A. Michael Investment Counsel Ltd.

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