On Oct 4, Zacks Investment Research upgraded Simmons First National Corporation ( SFNC ) to a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).
Why the Upgrade?
Simmons First National has been witnessing rising earnings estimates following the announcement of strong second-quarter 2014 results and completion of the Delta Trust & Banking Corporation acquisition. Shares of this banking products and services provider recorded a year-to-date return of 7.2%. Further, Simmons First National has recorded an average positive earnings surprise of 1.32% in the last four trailing quarters.
In Aug 2014, Simmons First National completed the acquisition of Delta Trust, announced in Mar 2014. The combined entity will ensure that it provides clients with innovative products and services and generate long-term benefits for shareholders.
Impressive net revenue and a strong capital position drove Simmons First National's second-quarter 2014 results reported on Jul 17. The company reported core earnings per share of 56 cents, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 3.7%. Also, earnings came in higher than the prior-year quarter figure by 43.6%.
Analysts' bullish stance on the stock was reflected in the estimate revisions over the past 90 days. For 2014, the Zacks Consensus Estimate advanced 1.3% to $2.32 per share. It moved up around 1% to $3.17 per share for 2015.
Other Stocks to Consider
Some other stocks in the same sector worth considering include First Community Bancshares, Inc. ( FCBC ) and First NBC Bank Holding Company ( NBCB ), with a Zacks Rank #1 while F.N.B. Corporation ( FNB ) carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
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