First Midwest Hits New 52-Week High - Analyst Blog

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Shares of First Midwest Bancorp Inc. ( FMBI ) reached a new 52-week high, touching $17.53 at the end of the trading session on Nov 21. However, the stock closed the session at $17.51, reflecting a solid year-to-date return of 32.5%. The trading volume for the session was 233,111 shares.

Despite the strong price appreciation, this Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) Midwest bank has considerable upside left, given its positive estimate revisions over the last 30 days and expected long-term earnings growth of 8.33%.

Growth Drivers

First Midwest's performance was primarily driven by robust third-quarter 2013 results comprising an earnings surprise of 62.5%, along with a 75% hike in the quarterly cash dividend.

On Oct 23, First Midwest declared third-quarter earnings of 39 cents per share, which handily beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 24 cents. Moreover, net income was $16.0 million, compared with a net loss of $47.8 million in the year-ago quarter.

Earnings benefited from higher non-interest income, lower expenses and a significant decline in provision for loan and covered loan losses. However, decline in net interest income was a headwind.

Further, on Nov 21, First Midwest's board of directors declared a 75% increase in its quarterly cash dividend to 7 cents per share. Notably, the last payout was the company's 124th consecutive dividend.

Estimate Revisions Show Potency

In the last 30 days, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2013 increased 15.6% to $1.04 per share, based on the upward revision of 7 out of 8 estimates. For 2014, the Zacks Consensus Estimate advanced 1.9% to $1.08 per share over the same time frame.

Some other stocks worth considering in the same sector include First Interstate Bancsystem Inc. ( FIBK ), German American Bancorp Inc. ( GABC ) and PrivateBancorp, Inc. ( PVTB ). All these carry a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).



FIRST INTST MT (FIBK): Free Stock Analysis Report

FIRST MIDWST BK (FMBI): Free Stock Analysis Report

GERMAN AMER BCP (GABC): Free Stock Analysis Report

PRIVATEBANCORP (PVTB): 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: FIBK , FMBI , GABC , PVTB

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