Shares of People's United Financial Inc.
( PBCT ) soared to
a new 52-week high, touching $14.38 in the first half of the
trading session on Jun 20. The closing price of the stock was
$14.25, reflecting a solid year-to-date return of 17.5%. The
trading volume for the session was 6.7 million shares,
significantly up from the 3-month average of 3.5 million
shares.FIRST PACTRUST (BANC): Free Stock Analysis
ReportGREAT SOUTH BCP (GSBC): Free Stock Analysis
ReportMUTUALFIRST FIN (MFSF): Free Stock Analysis
ReportPEOPLES UTD FIN (PBCT): Free Stock Analysis
ReportTo read this article on Zacks.com click here.Zacks Investment
Over the last 60 days, the forward year estimate of this Zacks
Rank #3 (Hold) stock was revised downwards by a penny. However,
People's United's scope for revival remains strong, given the
expected earnings growth of 6.5%.
People's United's consistently improving asset quality primarily
stimulated the strong price appreciation of the stock. In addition,
the company's announcement of the 21st consecutive annual dividend
hike by a cent to 65 cents per share seems to have enhanced
investor confidence, thereby boosting stock prices.
People's United's first-quarter 2013 earnings of 18 cents per
share came in line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate. Lower
nonperforming assets as well as growth in loans and deposits were
the positives for the quarter. Nevertheless, decreasing revenues
and steep expenses acted as headwinds.
Going forward, a rise in loans and deposits will likely boost the
company's results. Moreover, People's United is trying to overcome
the sluggish economic recovery through strategic acquisitions.
Additionally, healthy capital deployment activity will boost
investor confidence. Nevertheless, the recent regulatory issues,
decline in top line and rising expenses remain major
In the last 60 days, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2013
decreased 1.3% to 77 cents. However, for 2014, the Zacks Consensus
Estimate advanced 2.3% to 89 cents per share over the same time
Other Stocks to Consider
Better performing stocks in the same sector include First
Pactrust Bancorp Inc. ( BANC ), Great
Southern Bancorp ( GSBC ) and
Mutualfirst Fincl Inc ( MFSF ) - all of which
carry a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).