Riding on a steady growth momentum, shares of
VantageSouth Bancshares Inc.
) reached a 52-week high of $6.68 on Mar 13. This regional bank
has witnessed a jump of about 26.8% since the beginning of
Moreover, the encouraging momentum of this Zacks Rank #1
(Strong Buy) stock is fuelled by strategic inorganic growth
initiatives in the form of mergers and acquisitions along with a
robust investment pipeline, thereby enhancing operating
Yesterday's closing price represents a robust one-year return
of about 57.9% against a return of 11.9% clocked by the Dow Jones
index. Average volume of shares traded over the last three months
stands at approximately 35.4K.
On Jan 29, VantageSouth reported fourth-quarter 2013 operating
earnings per share of 7 cents, in line with the Zacks Consensus
Estimate but higher than the year-ago number of 5 cents.
Results reflected robust growth in interest and non-interest
income coupled with lower loan loss provisions. However, the
positives were more than offset by higher interest and operating
expenses. Conversely, asset quality remained strong, while
capital ratios remained above regulatory benchmarks, at the end
Now that the acquisition of East Carolina Bank (ECB) is
nearing an anniversary, the merger is showing results.
VantageSouth witnessed higher interest and non-interest income as
well as lower loan loss provisions following the ECB merger,
thereby improving its operating efficiency.
Concurrently, VantageSouth has showcased prudent capital
management, which in turn, leaves ample scope for pursuing
capital deployment strategies. Going ahead, the proposed merger
with Yadkin Financial Corp. is further expected to enhance
VantageSouth's operating and competitive efficiencies. We believe
the upcoming quarters should benefit from the company's operating
and capital actions, as reflected in the market's positive
Some equally well-placed insurers that warrant a look are
Bridge Bancorp Inc.
Eagle Bancorp Inc.
West BanCorp. Inc.
). All three stocks carry same Zacks Rank as VantageSouth.
BRIDGE BANCORP (BDGE): Free Stock Analysis
EAGLE BCP INC (EGBN): Free Stock Analysis
VANTAGESOUTH BC (VSB): Free Stock Analysis
WEST BANCORP (WTBA): Free Stock Analysis
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