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Midsouth Bancorp Hits 52-Week High - Analyst Blog

Posted: 5/20/2014 10:20:00 AM
Referenced Stocks: CCBG;FBNC;FFKT;MSL

Shares of Midsouth Bancorp Inc. ( MSL ) reached a new 52-week high, touching $18.83 on May 19. However, the stock closed at $18.61, reflecting a solid return of 22.8% in a year's time. The trading volume for the session was 33,153 shares.

Midsouth Bancorp currently sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). The company has delivered positive earnings surprises in three out of the trailing four quarters with an average beat of 7.66%. Moreover, given the positive estimate revisions witnessed over the past 60 days, the stock shows ample potential. The year-over-year earnings growth estimate for the company presently stands at 21.2% for 2014.

Growth Drivers

Strong first-quarter 2014 results including a rise in the top line, healthy capital position and modest credit quality primarily drove the stock price.

On Apr 29, Midsouth Bancorp came out with operating earnings of 33 cents per share, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 22.2%. The reported figure also surpassed 27 cents per share earned in the prior-year quarter.

Results were aided by a 15.3% rise in revenues and a fall in interest expenses, partially offset by growing non-interest expenses. Further, the quarter witnessed an increase in net loans. Capital ratios were healthy, along with modest asset quality.

Estimate Revisions Show Potency

Over the last 60 days, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2014 has gone up 13.2% to $1.37 per share. For 2015, the estimate rose around 7.1% to $1.50 per share over the same time frame.

Some top-ranked Southeast banks worth considering include Capital City Bank Group Inc. ( CCBG ), Farmers Capital Bank Corporation ( FFKT ) and First Bancorp ( FBNC ). All these stocks sport the same Zacks Rank as Midsouth.

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