I bought Bank of Ireland (IRE) in early 2012 based on three things: solid business IF the balance sheet could be addressed, Government support (15% owned) and an Irish economy that though overheated has a very solid manufacturing base (ie, pharmaceutical manufacturing) and conservative stewardship. The stock has almost quadrupled in that time. This leads to two questions I have for fellow members:
1) Why is so little written about this fairly reasonably sized bank that is the most stable bank in a major economy? The lack of publicity has obviously not effected the stock going up, but I want to know WHY the run has occurred. Is it Americans buying ADRs versus Irish/European investors? Anybody know how to find this out? I'm an intrinsic value investor so don't really care about what others think, but I am intrigued as to who is moving this stock.
2) I recently went back to pre-crisis numbers to determine how todays valuation would stack up if IRE returned to an average of their earnings (assuming the balance sheet also stabalized at pre-crisis loss levels). I conservatively figured the bank would be at about a p/e of 10 - not making it a screaming buy anymore, but given that they are the main solvent bank in a quickly recovering major economy, not an unattractive holding (I calculated other metrics of value too that showed a solid valuation). Anybody else hold IRE and perform their own valuation analysis and willing to share?