Why West Bancorp is a Strong Buy Now? - Analyst Blog

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On Jun 14, Zacks Investment Research upgraded West Bancorp., Inc. ( WTBA ) to a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

Why the Upgrade?

West Bancorp has been witnessing rising earnings estimates on the back of strong first-quarter 2014 results, including sound loan growth and healthy profitability ratios. The company posted positive earnings surprises with an average beat of 6.1% in the trailing four quarters. Further, it recorded a solid return of 39.5% in a year's time.

West Bancorp reported its first-quarter results on Apr 24 with earnings of 27 cents per share, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate by a penny. Further, the reported figure exceeded the prior-year quarter figure of 23 cents by 17.4%.

Better-than-expected results were primarily driven by solid top-line growth, fall in the interest expenses and improvement in the profitability ratios. These positives were, however, partially offset by increasing non-interest expenses.

Net loans grew 9.2% and deposits increased 11.0% year over year. Net interest income rose 9.1% and non-interest income increased 14.9%. On the flip side, non-interest expenses were up 10.4% year over year.

Over the last 60 days, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2014 climbed 2.7% to $1.13 per share. For 2015, the Zacks Consensus Estimate advanced 4.3% to $1.20 per share over the same time period.

Other Stocks to Consider

Apart from West Bancorp, other savings and loan institution stocks worth considering include Anchor Bancorp ( ANCB ), BankFinancial Corp. ( BFIN ) and Cape Bancorp, Inc. ( CBNJ ). While Anchor Bancorp sports the same Zacks Rank as that of West Bancorp, both BankFinancial Corp and Cape Bancorp carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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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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