2016 was good for Louisiana bank stocks

Louisiana bank stocks outperformed the national average in 2016. (iStock photo)

Editor’s Note: A previously published version incorrectly listed the amount by which Investar Bank’s stock increased in 2016. The bank’s stock was up 11% for the year, as of Dec. 29. Daily Report regrets the error.

Stocks of Louisiana’s publicly traded companies had a mixed year in 2016, with bank stocks showing strong growth and most—though not all—energy services companies continuing to struggle through depressed oil prices.

Nationwide, the S&P 500 is up about 11% for the year. Most of Louisiana’s publicly traded companies outperformed that national average, according to Peter Ricchiuti, the William B. Burkenroad Jr. Clinical Professor in Tulane University’s A.B. Freeman School of Business.

“For Louisiana companies, the biggest story, I think, is the banks did unbelievably well,” Ricchiuti says. “And for the past couple of years they’ve been kind of dead in the water.”

Three Lafayette-based banks were particularly strong. Stocks of the holding companies of MidSouth Bank, IberiaBank and Home Bank are all up more than 50% for the year. Baton Rouge-based Investar Bank is up about 11%. Only First NBC in New Orleans was off—a whopping 80%—but that institution was plagued by financial and regulatory issues for much of the year.

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