For those looking to find strong Finance stocks, it is prudent to search for companies in the group that are outperforming their peers. Has American National Bankshares (AMNB) been one of those stocks this year? Let's take a closer look at the stock's year-to-date performance to find out.
American National Bankshares is one of 905 companies in the Finance group. The Finance group currently sits at #2 within the Zacks Sector Rank. The Zacks Sector Rank includes 16 different groups and is listed in order from best to worst in terms of the average Zacks Rank of the individual companies within each of these sectors.
The Zacks Rank is a proven system that emphasizes earnings estimates and estimate revisions, highlighting a variety of stocks that are displaying the right characteristics to beat the market over the next one to three months. American National Bankshares is currently sporting a Zacks Rank of #2 (Buy).
Within the past quarter, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for AMNB's full-year earnings has moved 3.6% higher. This is a sign of improving analyst sentiment and a positive earnings outlook trend.
Our latest available data shows that AMNB has returned about 5.1% since the start of the calendar year. Meanwhile, stocks in the Finance group have gained about 2.2% on average. This means that American National Bankshares is performing better than its sector in terms of year-to-date returns.
One other Finance stock that has outperformed the sector so far this year is Aflac (AFL). The stock is up 6.5% year-to-date.
For Aflac, the consensus EPS estimate for the current year has increased 1.7% over the past three months. The stock currently has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
Looking more specifically, American National Bankshares belongs to the Banks - Southeast industry, a group that includes 66 individual stocks and currently sits at #17 in the Zacks Industry Rank. Stocks in this group have gained about 9.1% so far this year, so AMNB is slightly underperforming its industry this group in terms of year-to-date returns.
In contrast, Aflac falls under the Insurance - Accident and Health industry. Currently, this industry has 5 stocks and is ranked #69. Since the beginning of the year, the industry has moved +4.5%.
Going forward, investors interested in Finance stocks should continue to pay close attention to American National Bankshares and Aflac as they could maintain their solid performance.
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