On Dec 24, Zacks Investment Research upgraded Great Southern Bancorp Inc. (GSBC) to a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).
Why the Upgrade?
Great Southern Bancorp has been witnessing rising earnings estimates on the back of strong third-quarter 2013 results. The long-term expected earnings growth rate for this stock is 6%. Further, Great Southern Bancorp has now delivered positive earnings surprises in the last 4 quarters with an average beat of 22%.
Great Southern Bancorp reported its third-quarter results on Oct 22 with earnings per share of 61 cents, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 46 cents by 32.6% and the year-ago earnings of 51 cents by 19.6%.
Robust results for the reported quarter were primarily driven by lower expenses. Moreover, lower provision for loan losses and reduced non-performing assets reflected improvement in credit quality. Yet, these positives were partially offset by lower top line.
Following third-quarter 2013 results, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2013 increased 2.7% to $2.25 per share, over the last 60 days. For 2014, the Zacks Consensus Estimate advanced 2.6% to $1.97 per share over the same time period.
Other Stocks to Consider
Some other banking stocks worth considering include Investors Bancorp Inc. (ISBC), Northfield Bancorp, Inc. (Staten Island, NY) (NFBK) and Washington Federal Inc. (WAFD). All 3 banks carry a Zacks Rank #1.