On Jun 14, Zacks Investment Research upgraded
West Bancorp., Inc.
) to a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).
Why the Upgrade?
West Bancorp has been witnessing rising earnings estimates on the
back of strong first-quarter 2014 results, including sound loan
growth and healthy profitability ratios. The company posted
positive earnings surprises with an average beat of 6.1% in the
trailing four quarters. Further, it recorded a solid return of
39.5% in a year's time.
West Bancorp reported its first-quarter results on Apr 24 with
earnings of 27 cents per share, beating the Zacks Consensus
Estimate by a penny. Further, the reported figure exceeded the
prior-year quarter figure of 23 cents by 17.4%.
Better-than-expected results were primarily driven by solid
top-line growth, fall in the interest expenses and improvement in
the profitability ratios. These positives were, however, partially
offset by increasing non-interest expenses.
Net loans grew 9.2% and deposits increased 11.0% year over year.
Net interest income rose 9.1% and non-interest income increased
14.9%. On the flip side, non-interest expenses were up 10.4% year
Over the last 60 days, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2014
climbed 2.7% to $1.13 per share. For 2015, the Zacks Consensus
Estimate advanced 4.3% to $1.20 per share over the same time
Other Stocks to Consider
Apart from West Bancorp, other savings and loan institution stocks
worth considering include
Cape Bancorp, Inc.
). While Anchor Bancorp sports the same Zacks Rank as that of West
Bancorp, both BankFinancial Corp and Cape Bancorp carry a Zacks
Rank #2 (Buy).
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