What Makes Comerica (CMA) a Hot Pick for Investors Now?

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Benefits from a stabilizing economy and improving interest-rate scenario have well positioned the banking industry. Moreover, tax overhaul and an expected ease in regulation could bring more benefits. Keeping this in mind, we have selected Comerica Incorporated CMA for your consideration.

Comerica is one such stock that has been witnessing upward estimate revisions, reflecting analysts' optimism about its future prospects. Over the last 30 days, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2018 and 2019 inched up around 1% and marginally, respectively.

Further, shares of this Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) stock have gained around 10.5% in Q1, outperforming the 2.4% decline recorded by the industry .

Notably, Comerica has a number of other aspects that make it an attractive investment option.

Why Comerica is a Golden Egg

Revenue Strength: Comerica continues to make steady progress toward improving its top line. Sales witnessed a 6% compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) over the last five years (2013-2017). Also, the company's projected sales growth (F1/F0) of 6.21% (as against the industry average of about 4.72%) indicates constant upward momentum in revenues.

Earnings Growth: Comerica has witnessed earnings growth of 7.19% in the last three-five years. In addition, the company's long-term (three-five years) estimated EPS growth rate of 10% promises rewards for investors over the long run. Additionally, it recorded an average positive earnings surprise of 8.04% in the preceding four quarters.

Prudent Expense Management: Expenses dropped 3.6% in 2017 due to Comerica's focus on driving long-term efficiency through GEAR Up initiatives. Such initiatives are anticipated to deliver annual pre-tax income of about $270 million by year-end 2018, and additional benefits in pre-tax income of $35 million in 2019 and beyond.

Steady Capital Deployment Activities: The successful clearance of the Fed stress test in 2017 indicates that Comerica is well positioned to weather any severe economic downturn. Further, the company won regulatory approvals for rewarding shareholders with dividends or potential share buybacks under the 2017 capital plan. Pursuant to this, in July 2017, the company increased its common stock dividend by 15%.

Strong Leverage: Comerica's debt/equity ratio is valued at 0.58 compared to the industry average of 0.91, indicating a relatively lower debt burden. It also highlights the financial stability of the company despite an unstable economic environment.

Superior Return on Equity (ROE): Comerica's ROE of 10.94% compared with the industry average of 10.68% underlines the company's commendable position over its peers.

Stocks to Consider

BankUnited, Inc. BKU has been witnessing upward estimate revisions for the last 30 days. In addition, the stock jumped more than 14% over the past six months. It currently carries a Zacks Rank of 2. You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here .

M&T Bank Corporation MTB has been witnessing upward estimate revisions for the last 30 days. Also, the company's shares have risen nearly 14.8% in six months' time. It currently carries a Zacks Rank #2.

First Financial Bancorp. FFBC has been witnessing upward estimate revisions for the last 60 days. For the last six months, this Zacks #2 Ranked company's share price has been up more than 11.4%.

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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 Nasdaq, Inc.

This article appears in: Investing , Business , Stocks
Referenced Symbols: CMA , MTB , BKU , FFBC

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