On Jan 3, Zacks Investment Research upgraded Evercore Partners Inc. (EVR) to a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).
Why the Upgrade?
Evercore Partners has been witnessing rising earnings estimates on the back of strong third-quarter 2013 results and robust capital deployment activities. Moreover, this investment broker has delivered positive earnings surprises in 3 out the last 4 quarters with an average beat of 18.0%.
Evercore Partners reported third-quarter results on Oct 23. Earnings per share of 53 cents beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 44 cents. Results were driven by an increase in top line partially offset by rise in total expenses.
The growth in top line was attributable to improvement in both the segments of the company, Investment Banking as well as Investment Management.
We observe that Evercore Partners’ advisory business has been consistently improving. Moreover, with overall equity market recovering, we expect the company to deliver higher profits with regard to its equity business as well.
Evercore Partners’ capital deployment activities seem lucrative. Concurrent with the earnings release, the company hiked its regular dividend by 14% to 25 cents per share. The dividend was paid on Dec 13, 2013 to the shareholders of record on Nov 29, 2013. Further, the company expanded the existing share buyback authorization to a maximum amount of $250 million.
The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2013 increased 3.3% to $2.22 per share over the last 60 days. For 2014, the estimate rose 1.5% to $2.75 per share over the same time frame.
Other Stocks to Consider
Other investment brokers worth considering include KCG Holdings, Inc. (KCG), Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services Inc. (LTS) and E*TRADE Financial Corporation (ETFC). While KCG Holdings and Ladenburg Thalmann carry the same Zacks Rank as Evercore Partners, E*TRADE Financial holds a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).