On Mar 28, Zacks Investment Research upgraded LNB Bancorp Inc. (LNBB) to a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).
Why the Upgrade?
LNB Bancorp has been witnessing rising earnings estimates on the back of strong fourth-quarter 2013 results, steady organic growth and superior capital position. For the current year, year-over year earnings growth estimate is 27.87%. Further, the company recorded a solid return of 9.6% year-to-date.
LNB Bancorp reported its fourth-quarter earnings on Jan 30 with earnings per share of 16 cents. However, it missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate as well as the prior-year quarter earnings of 17 cents by 5.9%.
Decent results for the reported quarter were primarily driven by improved credit quality and higher loans and deposits. Total nonperforming assets declined 22.6% year over year, while provision for loan losses decreased 43.1% on a year-over-year basis.
Net loans ascended 2.3% year over year, while total deposits jumped 4.6%. This reflected organic growth of the company.
On the flip side, 4% rise in non-interest expenses, 3.6% decline in non-interest income and 1.7% decrease in net interest income was recorded.
For 2014, the Zacks Consensus Estimate increased 4.0% to 78 cents per share, over the last 60 days. For 2015, the Zacks Consensus Estimate advanced 5.6% to 95 cents per share over the same time period.
Other Stocks to Consider
Apart from LNB Bancorp, other Midwest banks worth considering include First Financial Corp. (THFF), First Merchants Corporation (FRME) and Lakeland Financial Corp. (LKFN). All these stocks carry a Zacks Rank #1.