Middleburg Financial Upgraded to Strong Buy - Analyst Blog

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Zacks Investment Research upgraded Middleburg Financial Corporation ( MBRG ) 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 recorded.

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 period.

Other Stocks to Consider

Apart from Middleburg Financial, other Southeast regional banks worth considering include Farmers Capital Bank Corp. ( FFKT ), Ameris Bancorp ( ABCB ) and Capital City Bank Group Inc. ( CCBG ). All these stocks carry a Zacks Rank #1.


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AMERIS BANCORP (ABCB): Free Stock Analysis Report

CAPITAL CITY BK (CCBG): Free Stock Analysis Report

FARMERS CAP KY (FFKT): Free Stock Analysis Report

MIDDLEBURG FINL (MBRG): 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: ABCB , CCBG , FFKT , MBRG

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