On Aug 13, 2013, Zacks Investment Research upgraded
Union First Market Bankshares Corporation
) to a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).
Why the Upgrade?
Union First has been witnessing rising earnings estimates on the
back of strong second-quarter results. Moreover, the company has
an expected long-term earnings growth rate of 8.0%.
On Jul 22, Union First reported second-quarter earnings of 42
cents per share (excluding the company's acquisition related
expenses), surpassing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 38 cents.
Moreover, it surpassed the prior-quarter earnings of 36 cents.
Better-than-expected results were driven by rise in non-interest
income, partially offset by decline in net interest income and
higher operating expenses. Moreover, improved asset quality and
capital ratios were the tailwinds for the quarter.
Union First's net interest income came in at $38.7 million, down
1.1% from the prior-year quarter. However, non-interest income
came in at $11.3 million, up 10.2% year over year. Further, total
expenses increased 2.0% year over year to $34.3 million.
Union First's asset quality showed an improvement. Nonperforming
assets stood at $62.2 million as of Jun 30, 2013, down 17.1% from
the prior-year quarter. Net charge-offs as a percentage of total
outstanding loans were 0.14% as of Jun 30, 2013, down from 0.31%
as of Jun 30, 2012.
Capital ratios also showed improvement. As of Jun 30, 2013, Tier
1 risk-based capital ratio was 13.08% compared with 12.99% as of
Jun 30, 2012. Leverage ratio stood at 10.45% as of Jun 30, 2013
compared with 10.44% as of Jun 30, 2012.
Over the last 30 days, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2013 went
up by 4.7% to $1.57 per share. Moreover, for 2014, the Zacks
Consensus Estimate increased 2.4% to $1.69 per share over the
same time frame.
Other Stocks to Consider
Other stocks that are also worth considering in the same industry
Farmers Capital Bank Corporation
First M&F Corporation
). All these stocks carry a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).
FIRST BCP-NC (FBNC): Free Stock Analysis
FARMERS CAP KY (FFKT): Free Stock Analysis
FIRST M & F CRP (FMFC): Get Free Report
UNION FIRST MKT (UBSH): Free Stock Analysis
To read this article on Zacks.com click here.