Astoria Financial Hits 52-Week High - Analyst Blog

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Shares of Astoria Financial Corporation ( AF ) reached a new 52-week high, touching $13.98 in the second half of the trading session on Nov 25. However, the stock closed the session at $13.90, reflecting a year-to-date return of 48.3%. The trading volume for the session was 323,284 shares.

Despite the strong price appreciation, this Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) bank has considerable upside left, given its expected earnings per share (EPS) growth rate of 5.93% for 2013.

Growth Drivers


Astoria Financial's impressive performance came on the back of strong third-quarter 2013 results, which included a positive earnings surprise of 7.14%. The company also maintains a robust capital position in compliance with the regulatory guidelines.

On Oct 16, Astoria Financial declared third-quarter earnings of 15 cents per share, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 14 cents. Moreover, net income of $14.7 million marked a 10.3% year-over-year increase.

Net interest income was $86.2 million, up 0.2% year over year. Further, provision for loan losses was $2.5 million, down 73.3% from the prior-year quarter. Additionally, non-interest expenses dropped 0.2% year over year to $72.5 million. However, total non-interest income was 15.3 million, down 7.6% from the year-ago quarter.

Additionally, Astoria Financial has delivered positive earnings surprises in the trailing 4 quarters with an average beat of 13.82%.

Estimate Revisions

In the last 30 days, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2013 as well as 2014 remained stable at 0.57 and 0.63, respectively.

Apart from Astoria Financial, other banks which are worth considering include WSFS Financial Corp. ( WSFS ), Mutualfirst Financial Inc. ( MFSF ) and Investors Bancorp Inc. ( ISBC ). All these stocks carry a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).



ASTORIA FINL CP (AF): Free Stock Analysis Report

INVESTORS BANCP (ISBC): Free Stock Analysis Report

MUTUALFIRST FIN (MFSF): Free Stock Analysis Report

WSFS FINL CORP (WSFS): 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: AF , EPS , ISBC , MFSF , WSFS

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