On Aug 31, Zacks Investment Research upgraded
East West Bancorp, Inc.
) to a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).
Why the Upgrade?
East West Bancorp has been witnessing rising earnings estimates
on the back of strong second-quarter 2013 results. Moreover, this
well-known personal and commercial banking services provider
delivered positive earnings surprises in 3 of the last 4 quarters
with an average beat of 2.1%. The long-term expected earnings
growth rate for this stock is 9%.
East West Bancorp reported its second-quarter results on Jul 17
with earnings per share of 52 cents, beating the Zacks Consensus
Estimate of 51 cents by 1.96% and the year-ago earnings of 47
cents by 10.6%. Notably, the second quarter marked the ninth
consecutive quarter of earnings growth for East West Bancorp.
The company maintained a strong capital position with solid loans
and deposit balances during the quarter. Moreover, return on
average common equity was recorded at 12.59%, up 13 basis points
year over year. Provision for loan losses substantially declined
50% year over year to $8.3 million.
Moreover, expenses decreased 7.1% to $94.4 million, as compared
with the prior-year period. Lower compensation and employee
benefits and reduced loan related expenses primarily drove the
Following second-quarter 2013 results, the Zacks Consensus
Estimate for 2013 increased 2.9% to $2.10 per share on the back
of all 9 upward revisions, over the last 60 days. For 2014, the
Zacks Consensus Estimate advanced 5.7% to $2.23 per share with 9
of the 10 estimates moving north over the same time period.
Other Stocks to Consider
Besides East West Bancorp, other banks in the West with a Zacks
Rank #1 include
Glacier Bancorp Inc.
Umpqua Holdings Corporation
EAST WEST BC (EWBC): Free Stock Analysis
GLACIER BANCORP (GBCI): Free Stock Analysis
PREFERRED BANK (PFBC): Free Stock Analysis
UMPQUA HLDGS CP (UMPQ): Free Stock Analysis
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