Zacks Investment Research upgraded
Middleburg Financial Corporation
) to Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) on May 7, 2014,
Why the Upgrade?
Middleburg Financial's impressive first-quarter 2014 results was
the primary driver for the rating upgrade. Moreover, in the last
four trailing quarters the company scripted positive earnings
surprises, with average earnings beat of 42.4%.
On Apr 30, Middleburg Financial reported earnings of 28 cents per
share, outpacing the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 55.6%. Further,
this was 47.4% above the prior-year quarter figure of 19 cents.
The strong results were attributable to 2.9% rise in net interest
income and 12.9% fall in operating expenses. Also, improvement in
asset quality as well as strong capital and profitability ratios
were the other tailwinds.
Total nonperforming assets declined 26.4% year over year, while
allowance for loan losses was down 8 basis points (bps) to 1.81% as
a percentage of total loans. Moreover, Tier 1 risk-based capital
ratio and Total risk based capital ratio improved 32 bps and 33 bps
to 14.67% and 15.93%, respectively.
On the flip side, nearly 1% decline in non-interest income was
During the last 30 days, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2014
increased 19.3% to $1.05 per share. For 2015, the Zacks Consensus
Estimate advanced 16.8% to $1.11 per share over the same time
Other Stocks to Consider
Apart from Middleburg Financial, other Southeast regional banks
worth considering include
Farmers Capital Bank Corp.
Capital City Bank Group Inc.
). All these stocks carry a Zacks Rank #1.
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