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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: City Holding, BankUnited, McGrath RentCorp, M&T Bank and American National Bankshares


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For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL - April 2, 2018 - Zacks.com announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include City Holding Company CHCO , BankUnited, Inc. BKU , McGrath RentCorp MGRC , M&T Bank Corporation MTB and American National Bankshares Inc. AMNB .

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Here are highlights from Thursday's Analyst Blog:

Financials Don't Fear a Selloff: 5 Top Stocks to Buy

On Wednesday, the Financial Select Sector SPDR declined 3.7% following a fall in bond yields, which reached its lowest level since early February. Meanwhile, the sector recovered on Thursday, rising 0.2%, despite fall in key indexes following continued decline in tech stocks. It is quite likely that the recent slump in technology stocks was the reason for the fall in bond yields.

This means that Wednesday's selloff was a reaction to recent market events and not due to fundamentals. In fact, financials gained since the beginning of this year, on optimism surrounding strong economic expansion and steady job growth. Given the Fed's hawkish stance on rates, investing in financials continues to be a strong option going forward.  

Amazon-Led Tech Stock Decline Weighs on Yields?

Per Axios, President Trump is somehow "obsessed" with Amazon as the president is thinking of changing the tech giant's tax treatment in order to protect the interests of mom-and-pop retailers and other key players. Following this development, shares of Amazon fell 4.4% on Thursday and 7.3% in the last five trading days.

Shares of Nvidia and Tesla declined 8% and 16.8%, respectively, in the last five trading days. Reuters reported that Nvidia will suspend all its self-driving tests for the time being after a self-sufficient car killed a woman in Arizona. Further, news came out that the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board will investigate a fatal crash involving one of Tesla's vehicles in California.

Additionally, Facebook fell 8% in the last five trading days following reports that analytics firm Cambridge Analytica easily collected personal information of more 50 million users without their consent. This raised privacy questions on the social networking giant's data management and protection from unauthorized third party access.

In the absence of other downside risks, it is quite likely that the tech slump weighed on 10-year Treasury bond yields, which fell to 2.77 on Wednesday. Bond yields reached its lowest settlement on Wednesday since Feb 6. Weak bond yields come as dark tidings for financials.

However, unlike last year when bond yields fell following the Trump government's failure to pass any key economic policies and lower inflation, this year's decline in yields was most likely due to the slump in technology. This means that the decline in financials is not a result of weak fundamental factors, but more a reaction to recent sector specific reverses.

Rising Rate Hike Prospects: Boon for Financials

Following its two-day Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) policy meeting held onMar 20-21, the Fed raised its key interest rate by 0.25 points under the Fed's 16th Chairperson Jerome Powell. The central bank raised its key rate for the sixth time since 2015. Moreover, the Fed also expects two additional rate hikes this year and now three rate hikes in 2019 instead of two. The central bank projects economic growth at the rate of 2.7% in 2018, up from the previous expectation of 2.5%. Further, the growth rate is anticipated to be 2.4% in 2019 - higher than the previous forecast of 2.1%.

Rising rate hike chances is good news for financial companies including banks, money managers, insurance firms and brokerage companies. Banks benefit from a steep yield curve, as the spread between long-term and short-term rates widens. This is mainly because the potential rise in rates will enable banks to charge more for loans, leading to an increase in the spread between their lending rates and the rates paid on deposits.

Buy These 5 Financial Stocks

Given that the recent slump in tech stocks was the likely reason for faltering bond yields, we can say that prospects for financials are largely undiminished. The financial sector performed favorably in recent times following the Fed's interest rate hikes, better economic growth and Trump's latest economic policies.

In fact, market watchers believe that this rally will continue if rates continue to march higher this year and even in 2019. The Financial Select Sector SPDR has advanced 14.4% in the last one-year period.

In this context, we have selected five stocks that are expected to gain following these developments. These stocks also flaunt a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) or 2 (Buy). You can see  the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank stocks here .

City Holding Company  is a provider of various banking, trust and investment management, and other financial solutions.

This West Virginia-based company has a Zacks Rank #2. The expected earnings growth rate for the current year is 15.99%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the current year has improved 2% over the last 30 days. City Holding has gained 11.4% in the past year.

BankUnited, Inc.  is a bank holding company for BankUnited, National Association that provides a range of banking services.

This Florida-based company has a Zacks Rank #2. The expected earnings growth rate for the current year is 20.09%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the current year has improved 1.3% over the last 30 days. BankUnited has gained 9.5% in the last year.

McGrath RentCorp  is a business to business financial rental and leasing company.

This California-based company has a Zacks Rank #1. The expected earnings growth rate for the current year is 26.17%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the current year has improved 22.7% over the last 30 days. McGrath RentCorp has gained 60.6% in the past year.

M&T Bank Corporation  is a provider of commercial and retail banking services in the United States.

This New York-based company has a Zacks Rank #2. The expected earnings growth rate for the current year is 30.68%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the current year has improved 0.2% over the last 30 days. M&T Bank has gained 16.9% in a year.

American National Bankshares Inc.  is a provider of financial services and products. It operates through two segments, Trust and Investment Services, and Community Banking.

This Virginia-based company has a Zacks Rank #2. The expected earnings growth rate for the current year is 25.60%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the current year has improved 0.8% over the last 30 days. American National Bankshares has gained 2.8% in a year's time.

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About Zacks Equity Research

Zacks Equity Research provides the best of quantitative and qualitative analysis to help investors know what stocks to buy and which to sell for the long-term.

Continuous coverage is provided for a universe of 1,150 publicly traded stocks. Our analysts are organized by industry which gives them keen insights to developments that affect company profits and stock performance. Recommendations and target prices are six-month time horizons.

Strong Stocks that Should Be in the News

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Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Inherent in any investment is the potential for loss. This material is being provided for informational purposes only and nothing herein constitutes investment, legal, accounting or tax advice, or a recommendation to buy, sell or hold a security. No recommendation or advice is being given as to whether any investment is suitable for a particular investor. It should not be assumed that any investments in securities, companies, sectors or markets identified and described were or will be profitable. All information is current as of the date of herein and is subject to change without notice. Any views or opinions expressed may not reflect those of the firm as a whole. Zacks Investment Research does not engage in investment banking, market making or asset management activities of any securities. These returns are from hypothetical portfolios consisting of stocks with Zacks Rank = 1 that were rebalanced monthly with zero transaction costs. These are not the returns of actual portfolios of stocks. The S&P 500 is an unmanaged index. Visit https://www.zacks.com/performance  for information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.


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M&T Bank Corporation (MTB): Free Stock Analysis Report

BankUnited, Inc. (BKU): Free Stock Analysis Report

American National Bankshares, Inc. (AMNB): Free Stock Analysis Report

City Holding Company (CHCO): Free Stock Analysis Report

McGrath RentCorp (MGRC): 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 , Stocks
Referenced Symbols: MTB , BKU , AMNB , CHCO , MGRC



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