(Update) According to Dow Jones News, USB sold 139 million shares at $18 per share. See the news at WSJ.
(Original) When I say cheap, I meant in relative terms.
My benchmark: Buffett endorsed 2 banks in Berkshire annual shareholder meeting: US Bank (NYSE: USB) and Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC). Many people did not know current Wells Fargo is not the good old Wells Fargo in the west coast, a little more than 10 years ago Norwest and Wells Fargo merged, and adopted the Wells name. Ok, back to the topic. Both USB and WFC stocks had a fun ride in the last 12 months. But more interestingly, as of today, WFC is down 5% YoY, while USB is down 42%. In the past 12 months a lot things have happened to Wells, the biggest one being the Wachovia acqusition. Both took TARP money. Both issued common stocks: twice for Wells (last Fall and last week), once fot USB (today). But the purpose of issing stocks is slightly different: Wells needed the money for captial, USB needs the money to pay back TARP.
Notice the difference here? While Wells is still working hard to prop up capital required by regulator, USB is preparing pay back the TARP. That tells the fiscal strength of the company.
PS, got the $75 from US bank for the new checking account. Also, the customer representative called back to see if I am happy.