) hit a new 52-week high of $64.70 on Aug 25, riding on a strong
growth momentum. Notably, this commercial banking service
provider's shares have risen 6.4% since the company reported
second-quarter results in mid-July.
BancFirst also maintained its earnings streak in all the past
four quarters, with an average beat of 8.3%. The momentum of this
Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) stock has been driven by the company's strong
earnings performance and asset quality as well as adequate
liquidity and competitiveness over other larger players.
Yesterday's closing price represented a robust year-to-date
return of about 13.2% against a return of 9.7% clocked by the
Nasdaq index. Average volume of shares traded over the last three
months stands at approximately 21.26K.
On Jul 17, BancFirst reported second-quarter 2014 earnings per
share (EPS) of 92 cents, higher than the Zacks Consensus Estimate
of 87 cents. EPS also beat the year-ago quarter figure of 82 cents
despite higher share count.
Results reflected 8.8% year-over-year growth in non-interest
income and 13.1% rise in interest income. These factors were
partially offset by higher non-interest expenses and loan loss
Nevertheless, profitability metrics remained on the progress
track as reflected by improved return on average assets and net
interest margin. Notably, return on equity (ROE) also grew to 10.2%
from 9.5% in the year-ago quarter.
BancFirst is gaining strength in Oklahoma from the acquisition
of assets of The Bank of Union, El Reno, Oklahoma (The Bank of
Union) from the FDIC, at the beginning of this year. Alongside, a
strong loan portfolio as well as improved charge-offs and
delinquency rates reflect a healthy credit profile. BancFirst's
growth prospects and efforts to expand have boosted investors'
sentiment as well.
Meanwhile, one could also consider financial stocks like
Cullen/Frost Bankers Inc. (
), Opus Bank (
) and Cowen Group Inc. (
), all of which have the same Zacks Rank as BancFirst.
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