On Jul 8, the Zacks Investment Research upgraded
Westfield Financial Inc.
) 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
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.
Beneficial Mutual Bancorp Inc.
). While Great Southern Bancorp sports the same Zacks Rank as
Westfield Financial, BankFinancial Corp. and Beneficial Mutual
Bancorp carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
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WESTFIELD FINL (WFD): Free Stock Analysis
GREAT SOUTH BCP (GSBC): Free Stock Analysis
BENEFICIAL MUTL (BNCL): Free Stock Analysis
BANKFINANCIAL (BFIN): Free Stock Analysis
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