WSFS Financial Raised to Strong Buy - Analyst Blog

By Zacks Equity Research,

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On Jun 26, Zacks Investment Research upgraded WSFS Financial Corp. ( WSFS ) to a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

Why the Upgrade?

WSFS Financial has been witnessing rising earnings estimates due to its first-quarter earnings, which increased nearly 55% year over year. Moreover, this bank holding company has a long-term earnings growth forecast of 5.0%.

On Apr 25, WSFS Financial's first-quarter earnings of $1.02 per share outpaced the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 76 cent by 34.2%. Better-than-expected results were driven by rise in fee income, partially offset by fall in non-interest income and higher operating expenses.

Further, WSFS Financial witnessed an improvement in loan balances. As of Mar 31, 2013, total net loans were $2.8 billion, up roughly 1% year over year. Additionally, deposit balance was almost stable at $3.2 billion as of Mar 31, 2013.

Moreover, WSFS Financial's credit quality remarkably improved during the quarter. Almost all the credit metrics - net charge-offs, nonperforming loans, total nonperforming assets, problem loans and delinquencies - declined or remained stable.

Profitability ratios grew for WSFS Financial during the reported quarter. As of Mar 31, 2013, return on average assets and return on average equity were 0.91% and 9.19%, respectively, increasing from 0.61% and 6.47% as of Mar 31, 2012.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2013 increased 1.9% to $3.69 per share over the last 60 days. For 2014, the Zacks Consensus Estimate rose by a penny to $3.90 per share over the same period.

Other Stocks to Consider

Other stocks in the banking sector that are worth a look include First Pactrust Bancorp, Inc. ( BANC ), Mutualfirst Financial Inc. ( MFSF ) and Provident Financial Holdings, Inc. ( PROV ) - all of which carry a Zacks Rank #1.

FIRST PACTRUST (BANC): Free Stock Analysis Report

MUTUALFIRST FIN (MFSF): Free Stock Analysis Report

PROVIDENT FINL (PROV): Free Stock Analysis Report

WSFS FINL CORP (WSFS): 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 Nasdaq, Inc.

This article appears in: Investing , Business , Stocks
Referenced Stocks: BANC , MFSF , PROV , WSFS

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