Zions Touches a New 52-Week High - Analyst Blog

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Shares of Zions Bancorp . ( ZION ) crafted a new 52-week high, touching $28.32 in the first half of the trading session on May 29, 2013. The closing price of this financial holding company represents a solid year-to-date return of 28.0%. The trading volume over the last 3 months was 1.9 million shares.

Despite hitting its 52-week high, this Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) stock has plenty of upside left given its strong estimate revisions over the last 60 days and expected year-over-year earnings growth of 45.23% for 2013.

Growth Drivers

Impressive first-quarter 2013 results - including an earnings surprise of 23.08% - and encouraging capital deployment activities were the primary growth drivers.

On Apr 22, 2013, Zions reported adjusted first-quarter 2013 earnings of 49 cents per share, surpassing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 39 cents and the prior-quarter earnings of 21 cents. Better-than-expected results were aided by growth in fee income and a decline in operating expenses, partially offset by a fall in net interest income.

On Apr 19, 2013, Zions' board of directors quadrupled its quarterly dividend on its outstanding common stock. The increased dividend stands at 4 cents per share, marking a massive 300% hike from the previous dividend of 1 cent per share.

Moreover, the company has delivered positive earnings surprises in the 3 of the last 4 quarters with an average beat of 6.89%.

Estimate Revisions Show Potency

Over the last 60 days, 14 out of 17 estimates for 2013 have been revised upward, lifting the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 4.1% to $1.77 per share. For 2014, 9 out of 17 estimates moved higher over the same time frame, helping the Zacks Consensus Estimate advance 1.1% to $1.92 per share.   

Other banks that are also worth considering include Central Pacific Financial Corp . ( CPF ), Preferred Bank ( PFBC ) and TriCo Bancshares ( TCBK ). All these carry a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).



CENTRAL PAC FIN (CPF): Free Stock Analysis Report

PREFERRED BANK (PFBC): Free Stock Analysis Report

TRICO BANCSHRS (TCBK): Free Stock Analysis Report

ZIONS BANCORP (ZION): Free Stock Analysis Report

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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: CPF , PFBC , TCBK , ZION

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