Univest Corporation Upped to Strong Buy


On May 3, 2014, Zacks Investment Research upgraded Univest Corporation of Pennsylvania (UVSP) to a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

Why the Upgrade?

Univest Corporation has been witnessing rising earnings estimates on the back of strong first quarter 2014 results, including growth in loans and healthy capital position. The long-term expected earnings growth rate for this stock is 4.00%.

Univest reported its first quarter results on Apr 23 with earnings of 35 cents per share, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 30 cents by 16.7%. Also, earnings came in 9.4% higher than the prior-year quarter earnings of 32 cents.

Better-than-expected results in the reported quarter were primarily driven by fall in interest expenses and lower provision for loan and lease losses.

Average gross loans and leases ascended 4.5% year over year, while average deposits inched up 1.9%. This reflects organic growth of the company.

On the flip side, 2.8% fall in interest income and 3.2% rise in non-interest expense was recorded.

For 2014, the Zacks Consensus Estimate increased 3.7% to $1.40 per share over the last 60 days. For 2015, the Zacks Consensus Estimate advanced 6.7% to $1.60 per share over the same time period.

Other Stocks to Consider

Apart from Univest Corporation, other Northeast banks worth considering include S&T Bancorp Inc. (STBA), Bryn Mawr Bank Corp. (BMTC) and The Community Financial Corp. (TCFC).  While S&T Bancorp carries a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Bryn Mawr Bank and Community Financial hold a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

Read the Full Research Report on TCFC
Read the Full Research Report on UVSP
Read the Full Research Report on STBA
Read the Full Research Report on BMTC

Zacks Investment Research

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