Westfield Financial Expands, Upped to Strong Buy - Analyst Blog

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On Jul 8, the Zacks Investment Research upgraded Westfield Financial Inc. ( WFD ) to a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

Why the Upgrade?

Westfield Financial's efforts to boost its middle market and commercial real estate lending business seem impressive. Moreover, the company has generated positive earnings surprises in the trailing four quarters, while maintaining an average beat of 17.4%.

Westfield Financial recently expanded its commercial lending business by opening a new office in downtown Springfield, Massachusetts. Apart from extending the company's present foothold, this would enhance access to the flourishing regions of western Massachusetts and northern Connecticut.

Also, Westfield Financial's efficient capital deployment activities, in form of regular dividend payouts and shares repurchase, position it as an attractive pick for yield-seeking investors. Further, the board of directors of Westfield Financial authorized an additional repurchase of nearly 2 million shares in Mar 2014.

For 2014, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for Westfield Financial climbed 5.6% to 38 cents per share over the last 60 days. For 2015, the Zacks Consensus Estimate increased 4.7% to 45 cents per share over the same time period.

Other Stocks to Consider

Other financial organizations worth considering include Great Southern Bancorp Inc. ( GSBC ), BankFinancial Corp. ( BFIN ) and Beneficial Mutual Bancorp Inc. ( BNCL ). While Great Southern Bancorp sports the same Zacks Rank as Westfield Financial, BankFinancial Corp. and Beneficial Mutual Bancorp carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).


Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report

WESTFIELD FINL (WFD): Free Stock Analysis Report

GREAT SOUTH BCP (GSBC): Free Stock Analysis Report

BENEFICIAL MUTL (BNCL): Free Stock Analysis Report

BANKFINANCIAL (BFIN): Free Stock Analysis Report

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Zacks Investment Research



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: WFD , GSBC , BNCL , BFIN

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