On Dec 27, Zacks Investment Research upgraded
Mutualfirst Financial Inc.
) to a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).
Why the Upgrade?
Mutualfirst Financial has witnessed positive estimate revision on
the back of strong third-quarter 2013 results and the recent
redemption of its remaining preference shares. Further, the
company has delivered positive earnings surprises in the last 4
quarters, with an average beat of 16.0%. Moreover, the long-term
expected earnings growth rate for this stock is 2%.
On Dec 26, Mutualfirst Financial declared redemption of all its
remaining preference shares that were issued to Treasury under
the Small Business Lending Fund program. The redemption not only
reduced the company's interest expenses, but also paved the way
for improved capital ratios. Further, the company did not incur
any additional debt or dilute common stock for funding the
redemption, thereby reflecting a solid liquidity position.
On Oct 22, Mutualfirst Financial reported its third-quarter
results with earnings per share of 30 cents, beating the Zacks
Consensus Estimate by 25.0%.
Results benefited from lower-than-expected operating expenses and
declining provision for credit losses, partially offset by a fall
in net interest income and non interest income.
Non interest expenses declined 7.9% year over year to $9.3
million. Moreover, loan balances increased 1.5% year over year to
9.7 billion. Also, asset quality improved with non-performing
assets as a percentage of total assets declining 62 bps to 1.46%
and provision fro credit losses declining significantly by almost
50% to 0.7 million.
On the flip side, net interest income were down roughly 1% to
year over year to 10.2 million, while non interest income
declined 11% year over year to 3 million.
Additionally, over the last 60 days, Zacks Consensus Estimate for
2013 remained stable at $1.02 per share. However, for 2014, it
advanced 9.1% to $1.20 per share.
Other Stocks to Consider
Other saving and loan institutes worth considering include
Washington Federal Inc.
Great Southern Bancorp Inc.
Teche Holding Company
). All these stocks carry the same Zacks Rank as Mutualfirst
GREAT SOUTH BCP (GSBC): Free Stock Analysis
MUTUALFIRST FIN (MFSF): Free Stock Analysis
TECHE HOLDING (TSH): Free Stock Analysis
WASH FEDL INC (WAFD): Free Stock Analysis
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