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CU Bancorp Upped to Strong Buy

Zacks Equity Research

On Apr 3, Zacks Investment Research upgraded CU Bancorp (CUNB) to a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

Why the Upgrade?

CU Bancorp has been witnessing rising earnings estimates based on strong fourth quarter 2012 results. Moreover, this regional bank delivered positive earnings surprises in 2 of the last 4 quarters with an average beat of 195.2%.

CU Bancorp reported fourth-quarter results on Jan 31. Earnings came in at 15 cents per share, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 2 cents as well as the year-ago earnings by 200%. Results were primarily aided by solid top-line growth on the back of higher net interest and non-interest income, partially offset by an increase in expenses.

Net interest income climbed 70% year over year to $11.8 million. Further, non-interest income surged 180% to $1.4 million. Non-interest expenses grew 50% year over year to $9.5 million.

Asset quality of the company improved in the reported quarter. Allowance for loan losses stood at 1.03% of total loans, down 50 basis points year over year. Further, non-accrual loans stood at 1.23% of total loans, down 3 basis points year over year

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2013 moved up 4% to 79 cents over the last 60 days. Over the same time frame, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2014 moved up 3%.

Other Stocks to Consider

While we prefer CU Bancorp, other banks carrying a Zacks Rank #1 include Meta Financial Group, Inc. (CASH), Flagstar Bancorp Inc. (FBC) and First Defiance Financial Corp. (FDEF).

Read the Full Research Report on CUNB

Read the Full Research Report on FBC

Read the Full Research Report on CASH

Read the Full Research Report on FDEF

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