Claremont Insider: PFF Bancorp Suspends Trading of Stock

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

PFF Bancorp Suspends Trading of Stock

Rancho Cucamonga-based PFF Bancorp suspended trading of its stock on the New York Stock Exchange this morning, the San Bernardino Sun reported.

PFF Bancorp (PFB: NYSE), which had a 52-week high of $30.37, closed yesterday at $3.74 per share. PFF had been hammered as part of the fallout from the mortgage crisis and had to sell off $100 million in problem loans to homebuilders and developers earlier month.

The Sun article said:

RANCHO CUCAMONGA - PFF Bancorp, a troubled Rancho Cucamonga-based banking institution stung by the real estate meltdown, halted trading in its stock today.

Sal Curasi, a PFF spokesman, declined to comment why.

"We have no information to share with you on that," Curasi said.

NYSE spokesman Scott Peterson said the stock was halted at 9:30 a.m. (EDT) for announcement of "pending news." As of mid-day, the stock still hadn't traded. "Unfortunately, any interaction between the NYSE and its listed companies is non-public information," Peterson said.

"That's unusual," said Joe Gladue, an analyst with B. Riley & Co. Inc. "Of course, someone could be buying them."

If you were lucky enough to get out of the stock when it was still up, you might have made out okay, as San Dimas Mayor Curt Morris did. Or the former director of Claremont McKenna College's Marian Miner Cook Athenaeum, Jil Stark. Both are on PFF Bancorp's Board of Directors.

For those lucky few there was an embarrassment of riches, to the tune of many hundreds of thousands of dollars. For the rest, not so much. Looking back on it, the collapse to under $7.00 a share at the beginning of the month doesn't look so bad now.