Ameris Bancorp Upped to Strong Buy - Analyst Blog

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On May 10, 2014, Zacks Investment Research upgraded Ameris Bancorp ( ABCB ) to a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

Why the Upgrade?

Ameris Bancorp has been witnessing rising earnings estimates on the back of strong first-quarter 2014 results, steady organic growth and a healthy capital position. The long-term expected earnings growth rate for this stock is 8.00%.  Further, the company recorded a solid return of 34.1% in a year's time.

Ameris Bancorp reported its first-quarter results on Apr 22 with earnings of 32 cents per share, which missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 33 cents by 3.03%. However, earnings came in significantly higher than the prior-year quarter figure of 20 cents.

Results in the reported quarter were primarily driven by rise in revenues and lower provision for loan losses.

Net loans ascended 28.6% year over year, while total deposits grew 20.9%. This reflects organic growth of the company. Non-performing assets as a percent of total assets declined 43 basis points to 2.29%.

On the flip side, a 15.1% rise in operating expenses and a 33.7% increase in interest expenses were recorded.

For 2014, the Zacks Consensus Estimate increased 4.4% to $1.67 per share over the last 60 days. For 2015, the Zacks Consensus Estimate advanced 13.3% to $2.04 per share over the same time period.

Other Stocks to Consider

Apart from Ameris Bancorp, other Southeast banks worth considering include Capital City Bank Group Inc. ( CCBG ), Farmers Capital Bank Corporation ( FFKT ) and First Bancorp ( FBNC ).  All of these stocks carry a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).


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CAPITAL CITY BK (CCBG): Free Stock Analysis Report

FIRST BCP-NC (FBNC): Free Stock Analysis Report

FARMERS CAP KY (FFKT): Free Stock Analysis Report

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.



This article appears in: Investing , Business , Stocks

Referenced Stocks: ABCB , CCBG , FBNC , FFKT

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