Shares of Pacific Capital Bancorp soared 35 percent in unusually heavy trading on Nov. 18 as the stock closed at 91 cents. Volume was more than 2 million shares compared with the normal 1.3 million shares daily.
No news was announced, but as earlier reported, the region’s largest banking company has been seeking a buyer or capital infusion amid mounting losses that have put the company under an agreement with regulators to boost capital levels. The company is the parent of Santa Barbara Bank & Trust and First Bank of San Luis Obispo.
Pacific Capital’s stock has been struggling below the $1 mark since Nov. 6. Shareholders have authorized a reverse stock split which could boost the company’s share price as much as 10-fold. No further details about the reverse split have been disclosed.