On Aug 24, Zacks Investment Research upgraded
Glacier Bancorp Inc.
) to a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).
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Why the Upgrade?
Glacier Bancorp has been witnessing rising earnings estimates on
the back of strong second-quarter 2013 results and the recent
acquisition of Chelan, Wash.-based North Cascades Bancshares,
Inc. and its subsidiary, North Cascades National Bank. Moreover,
this well-known commercial banking services provider delivered
positive earnings surprises in the last 4 quarters with an
average beat of 3.6%. The long-term expected earnings growth rate
for this stock is 9%.
Glacier Bancorp reported its second-quarter results on Jul 26
with earnings per share of 31 cents, beating the Zacks Consensus
Estimate of 30 cents by 3.3% and the year-ago earnings of 26
cents by 19.2%. Robust results for the reported quarter were
primarily aided by elevated non-interest income, reduced
non-interest expenses and lower provisions for loan losses,
partially offset by lower net interest income.
In July, Glacier Bancorp also completed the acquisition of North
Cascades, which provides community banking services. As of Jun
30, 2013, NCNB had total assets of about $330 million.
During the reported quarter, Glacier Bancorp announced a 7%
increase in its quarterly cash dividend. The increased dividend
of 15 cents per share was paid on Jul 18, 2013 to shareholders of
record on Jul 9. Notably, this latest rise in dividend is the
113th consecutive quarterly dividend increment.
Following second-quarter 2013 results, the Zacks Consensus
Estimate for 2013 increased 5.8% to $1.28 per share on the back
of upward revisions in all five estimates, over the last 30 days.
For 2014, the Zacks Consensus Estimate advanced 10.5% to $1.47
per share with all estimates moving north over the same time
Other Stocks to Consider
Besides Glacier Bancorp, other banks in the West with a Zacks
Rank #1 include
BofI Holding, Inc.
Umpqua Holdings Corporation