On Aug 28, Zacks Investment Research upgraded
First NBC Bank Holding Company
) to a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).
Why the Upgrade?
The rank upgrade of this Louisiana-based bank was driven by strong
estimate revisions on the back of second-quarter 2014 results that
reflected improvement in the year-over-year performance.
On Jul 28, First NBC Bank released its second-quarter 2014 results.
Earnings per share of 65 cents came significantly above the
prior-year quarter figure of 49 cents per share. However, the
reported figure came in line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate.
The company also witnessed top-line growth driven by increase in
both net interest income (NII) and non-interest income. NII grew
37.9% year over year to $26.5 million and non interest income
climbed 7.1% to $2.9 million. Also, net interest margin was 3.35%,
up 47 basis points from the prior-year quarter.
The company grew organically during the quarter with loan and
deposit balances showing improvements. As of Jun 30 2014, total
loans increased 23.1% year over year to $219.1 million and total
deposits grew 17.7% to $226.7 million.
Also, First NBC Bank remained well capitalized and its credit
quality exhibited partial improvement.
However, the positives were partially offset by higher expenses and
provision for loan losses. Non-interest expenses increased 22.3%
from the prior-year quarter to $18.6 million while provision for
loan losses grew 25% to $3.0 million.
Nevertheless, analysts' bullish stance on the stock was reflected
in the estimate revisions over the past 30 days. For 2014, the
Zacks Consensus Estimate advanced nearly 2% to $2.71 per share.
Also, it moved north 6.6% to $3.23 per share for 2015.
Other Stocks to Consider
Other stocks in the Southeast banks space worth considering include
Bank of the Ozarks, Inc. (
), Farmers Capital Bank Corporation (
) and First Community Bancshares, Inc. (
). All three stocks hold the same rank as First NBC Bank.
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