On Jan 2, 2014 we reiterated our Neutral recommendation on
), based on its ability to grow non-interest revenues amid a
slowly recovering macroeconomic environment, its capital adequacy
and stabilizing credit metrics. However, regulatory reforms,
mounting expenses and an unsettled global economy might act as
deterrents to this stock.
BANCORPSOUTH (BXS): Free Stock Analysis
FIRST BCP-NC (FBNC): Free Stock Analysis
FIRST NBC BANK (NBCB): Free Stock Analysis
STATE BANK FINL (STBZ): Free Stock Analysis
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BancorpSouth's rising non-interest revenues are expected to
partially offset net interest margin (NIM) compression in the
near term and drive top-line growth. Additionally, the company
appears attractive for yield-seeking investors due to its steady
capital deployment activities. Buoyed by its strong capital
position, BancorpSouth hiked its dividend in Aug 2013 by 400%.
Further, the company's third-quarter earnings of 26 cents per
share were in line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate and beat the
prior-year quarter figure by merely a penny. Additionally, over
the last 60 days, the Zacks Consensus Estimate showed a mixed
trend. For 2013, the Zacks Estimate was stable at 99 cents per
share while for 2014, it rose 1.6% to $1.24 per share in the
above-mentioned time period. BancorpSouth now has a Zacks Rank #3
However, with the rise in non-interest expenses, the company is
being increasingly exposed to operational risks. Moreover, the
recent regulatory norms have triggered a rise in compliance
costs. If these factors prevail, the company's bottom-line growth
will suffer. Further, the low interest rate environment might
adversely affect the company's financials in the quarters ahead.
Other Stocks to Consider
Some better-placed regional banks worth a look include
State Bank Financial Corporation
First NBC Bank Holding Company
). All these stocks carry a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).