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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Wells Fargo, Bank of America, U.S. Bancorp, PNC Financial Services Group and BB&T.

For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL - October 23, 2017 - 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 Wells Fargo & Company, Bank of America Corp, U.S. Bancorp , PNC Financial Services Group and BB&T Corporation.

Here are highlights from Friday's Analyst Blog:

Bank Stock Roundup: Q3 Earnings Edition

Most banks that reported third-quarter 2017 results this week managed to record bottom-line improvement on the back of top-line strength and lower provisions. This also led to positive price movement for most bank stocks over the last five trading days.

In addition to the benefits from higher interest rates, the results mirrored a marginal upswing in loans. Moreover, margin pressure seems to be easing significantly. Further, the rise in deposit balances helped drive organic growth at the banks.

However, mortgage banking business was disappointing. Also, an overall rise in non-interest expenses owing to high spending on technology and personnel, and other market development initiatives was an undermining factor. Nevertheless, legal expenses remained under control.

Important Earnings of the Week

1. Wells Fargo & Company 's third-quarter 2017 adjusted earnings of $1.04 per share came in line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate. Including previously disclosed mortgage-related discrete litigation accrual of 20 cents per share, earnings came in at 84 cents per share, comparing unfavorably with the prior-year quarter's earnings of $1.03 per share. Though rise in rates provided some respite, lower revenues aided by a fall in non-interest income were recorded. In addition, expenses soared.

Further, reduction in loans acted as headwind for the quarter. Though the bank's commercial portfolio improved, consumer loans disappointed. Improvement in credit quality and steady capital deployment activities were experienced. (Read more: Wells Fargo Q3 Earnings in Line, Legal Costs Flare Up )

2. Despite trading slowdown, loan growth and higher interest rates drove Bank of America Corp 's third-quarter 2017 earnings of 48 cents per share, which outpaced the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 46 cents. The figure was 17% higher than the prior-year quarter. Impressive net interest income growth, marginal increase in equity trading income and a slight rise in investment banking fees supported revenues. Operating expenses also recorded a decline. Further, credit costs decreased despite rise in loans. (Read more: BofA Keeps the Trend Alive, Beats on Q3 Earnings )

3. U.S. Bancorp 's third-quarter 2017 earnings per share of 88 cents came in line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate. Results came ahead of the prior-year quarter earnings of 84 cents. Easing margin pressure on rising rates was witnessed in the quarter. Moreover, revenues improved on a year-over-year basis aided by rise in net interest income.

Further, elevated average loans and deposits balances were tailwinds. However, escalating expenses, lower mortgage banking revenues and provisions were major drags. (Read more: U.S. Bancorp's Q3 Earnings as Expected, Revenues Up )

4. Riding on higher revenues, The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. reported a positive earnings surprise of 1.4% in third-quarter 2017. Earnings per share of $2.16 beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2.13. Moreover, the bottom line reflects a 17.4% increase from the prior-year quarter. Continued growth in loans helped the company earn higher net interest income during the quarter.

Also, non-interest income witnessed a year-over-year growth. However, higher expenses hurt results to some extent. Further, rise in provision for credit losses was a headwind. (Read more: PNC Financial Beats Q3 Earnings Estimates, Costs Up )

5. BB&T Corporation 's third-quarter 2017 adjusted earnings of 78 cents per share came in line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate. Results recorded 2.6% bottom-line improvement from the year-ago quarter. Results reflected an increase in revenues and higher expenses. The quarter witnessed a decrease in loans, and leases and deposits. Additionally, provision for credit losses decreased, which was a tailwind. (Read more: BB&T Corp Q3 Earnings as Expected, Revenues Rise Y/Y )

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.

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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 http://www.zacks.com/performance for information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.

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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.


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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