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Earnings Estimates Moving Higher for Independent Bank (IBCP): Time to Buy?

Independent Bank (IBCP) appears an attractive pick given a noticeable improvement in the company's earnings outlook. The stock has been a strong performer lately, and the momentum might continue with analysts still raising their earnings estimates for the company.

The rising trend in estimate revisions, which is a result of growing analyst optimism on the earnings prospects of this bank holding company, should get reflected in its stock price. After all, empirical research shows a strong correlation between trends in earnings estimate revisions and near-term stock price movements. Our stock rating tool -- the Zacks Rank -- is principally built on this insight.

The five-grade Zacks Rank system, which ranges from a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) to a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell), has an impressive externally-audited track record of outperformance, with Zacks #1 Ranked stocks generating an average annual return of +25% since 2008.

Consensus earnings estimates for the next quarter and full year have moved considerably higher for Independent Bank, as there has been strong agreement among the covering analysts in raising estimates.

The chart below shows the evolution of forward 12-month Zacks Consensus EPS estimate:

12 Month EPS

Current-Quarter Estimate Revisions

The company is expected to earn $0.47 per share for the current quarter, which represents a year-over-year change of -14.55%.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Independent Bank has increased 26.79% over the last 30 days, as two estimates have gone higher compared to no negative revisions.

Current-Year Estimate Revisions

For the full year, the company is expected to earn $1.91 per share, representing a year-over-year change of -4.5%.

The revisions trend for the current year also appears quite promising for Independent Bank, with three estimates moving higher over the past month compared to no negative revisions. The consensus estimate has also received a boost over this time frame, increasing 28.25%.

Favorable Zacks Rank

Thanks to promising estimate revisions, Independent Bank currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). The Zacks Rank is a tried-and-tested rating tool that helps investors effectively harness the power of earnings estimate revisions and make the right investment decision. You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Our research shows that stocks with Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) and 2 (Buy) significantly outperform the S&P 500.

Bottom Line

Investors have been betting on Independent Bank because of its solid estimate revisions, as evident from the stock's 7.6% gain over the past four weeks. As its earnings growth prospects might push the stock higher, you may consider adding it to your portfolio right away.


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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.

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Zacks is the leading investment research firm focusing on stock research, analysis and recommendations. In 1978, our founder discovered the power of earnings estimate revisions to enable profitable investment decisions. Today, that discovery is still the heart of the Zacks Rank. A wealth of resources for individual investors is available at www.zacks.com.

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