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BUFFALO STOCK SPOTLIGHT

First Empire State Corp.
Buffalo-based banking company, which owns M&T Bank, had its stock cross the $400 barrier for the first time, less than eight months after it crossed the $300 mark. First Empire's stock has risen 42.7 percent since the start of this year and has produced a total return of 67.3 percent over the last 12 months.
Common stock data
Latest close .... $410
52-week range .... $248-$412
Dividend .... $3.20
P/E ratio .... 18.1
Beta .... 0.61
Average daily volume .... 2,917
Financial data
Annual profit .... $151 million
Interest income .... $997 million
Earnings per share
latest 12 months .... $22.73
Estimated EPS for 1997 .... $24.51
Key financial ratios
Net income margin .... 4.5%
Return on equity .... 17.6%
Price to book .... 2.86
What a key exec says
"Certainly, we've benefited from the current investment climate. We've also recorded double-digit earnings while maintaining our credit quality."
-- Gary S. Paul, senior VP
SOURCES: Bloomberg News; Zack's Investment Research.

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