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Cullen/Frost CEO: We can handle oil at $37

Cheap oil squeezing banks?

From drilling and exploration names, to companies that service America's fracking industry, oil's massive price drop over the past 6 months has had ripple effects across the country. Still, one Texas bank CEO insists that even if crude falls another 20 percent, his firm can weather the storm.

Cullen/Frost's Chairman and CEO Dick Evans is no stranger to weathering economic downturns. His bank has been around for nearly 150 years and offers financial services throughout Texas. In 2008, Evans was the first bank chief to turn down bailout funds under the TARP program, according to the company's website.

In an interview on CNBC's "Fast Money " this week, Evans said his bank is prepared for further downside in oil. "We did a stress test. And when you do the stress test at 37 dollars for 2015, and below 50 going forward for 4 years, for our company, it's very manageable," he said.

But the current collapse in the crude market presents a new set of challenges.

Energy loans represent about 16 percent of Cullen/Frost's loan portfolio. While that may seem like a relatively small portion, investors are taking note. The bank's stock has sold off in lockstep with oil's plunge, dropping about 22 percent since oil's highs in June of last year.

On the company's fourth quarter earnings call Evans said "only two energy related loans have been noted as problem loans." He also said that when taking into account borrowers' financial capabilities, the bank's risk of exposure in its energy portfolio is just 1 percent.

Evans acknowledged to CNBC that "there is no question that things are going to slow in Texas." Nonetheless, he remained confident in the company's ability to persevere.

"Oil's down, we know that," he said, "But when you look at the facts going forward, there is still plenty of opportunity."

'Everything is connected' in oil bear market

At least one Wall Street analyst agrees with the company's prospects in the face of falling prices. A JPMorgan analyst wrote in a note on Wednesday that Cullen/Frost is "arguably among the best to withstand the coming pressure on its energy portfolio."

But some investors are worried an overall downturn in Texas' economy linked to falling oil prices could offer the biggest challenges to Cullen/Frost.

In December, "Fast Money" trader and Metropolitan Capital president Karen Finerman made that very argument when explaining why she shorted the stock. "Aside from just the specific energy exposure… every restaurant, housing, everything is going to have some correlation if we are in a horrible oil market," she said.

Finerman's concerns are echoed in the Dallas Fed's latest Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey, which found future business activity is struggling in the state. The survey's index dropped from 13 in December to -6.4 in January.

A few days after her short, Karen Finerman covered her position but maintained that "if we see a dramatic move in oil, (the stock) will continue to trade down."