On Mar 13, shares of BBCN Bancorp, Inc. (BBCN) reached a 52-week high of $17.89. The year-to-date return from the stock came in at 5.41%, better than the NASDAQ’s return of 2%.
The momentum in the stock was driven by strong business reported by the company with positive trends in loan production, revenue generation, deposit gathering and core expense management.
For the fourth quarter of 2013, deposits escalated to $5.15 billion, reflecting organic growth of 3% during the quarter or 10% on an annualized basis. Total assets increased to $6.47 billion as of year-end, reflecting organic growth of 2% during the quarter or 8% on an annualized basis.
New loan originations for the quarter amounted to $323 million, totaling $1.14 billion for the full year, up 4% year over year. Loans receivable increased during the quarter to $5.07 billion, reflecting organic growth of 4% over the third quarter or 14% on an annualized basis.
With strong loan originations and lower level of pay-offs and pay-downs, total loan portfolio grew at an annualized rate of 9% during the fourth quarter of 2013.
Along with solid organic growth, BBCN Bancorp is also adopting an inorganic growth approach. During the last year, the bank completed two acquisitions, thus consolidating its national footprint. BBCN has a significant presence in all five of its core geographic markets, including Southern California, New Jersey metropolitan area, Chicago, Northern California and Seattle.
BBCN Bancorp is considering other plans to diversify its business which includes developing residential mortgage strategy, launching new commercial equipment business, expanding retail banking business and others which have not yet been disclosed by management. These initiatives should be accretive to the bank’s earnings by 2015.
The company has also witnessed an upward revision in earnings estimates. Over the past 60 days, 3 of 5 estimates moved up raising the Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2014 by 1.7% to $1.20. For 2015, 1 of 4 estimates moved north by 1.6% over the same time frame lifting the Zacks Consensus Estimate to $1.29.
BBCN Bancorp presently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Other stocks like Central Valley Community Bancorp (CVCY), Preferred Bank (PFBC) and Sierra Bancorp (BSRR), all with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), are worth considering.