U.S. Markets open in 3 hrs 5 mins

Eagle Bancorp Upped to Strong Buy

Zacks Equity Research

On Aug 31, Zacks Investment Research upgraded Eagle Bancorp, Inc. (EGBN) to a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

Why the Upgrade?

Eagle Bancorp has been witnessing rising earnings estimates on the back of strong second-quarter 2013 results. Moreover, this well-known commercial and consumer banking services provider delivered positive earnings surprises in 3 of the last 4 quarters with an average beat of 9.7%. The long-term expected earnings growth rate for this stock is 12%.

Eagle Bancorp reported its second-quarter results on Jul 22 with earnings per share of 44 cents, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 42 cents by 4.8% and the year-ago earnings of 33 cents by 33.3%. Robust results for the reported quarter were primarily aided by elevated net revenue and lower provisions for loan losses, partially offset by elevated non-interest expenses.

Net revenue surged 18.6% year over year to $42 million. This upsurge reflected growth in net interest and non-interest income. Provision for credit losses substantially declined 45.5% year over year to $2.4 million.

However, on the downside, expenses increased 11.9% to $20.7 million for Eagle Bancorp, as compared with the prior-year period. Higher salaries along with elevated employee benefits primarily drove the increase.

Following second-quarter 2013 results, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2013 increased 4.2% to $1.75 per share, over the last 60 days. For 2014, the Zacks Consensus Estimate advanced 6.7% to $1.91 per share over the same time period.

Other Stocks to Consider

Besides Eagle Bancorp, other Northeast banks with a Zacks Rank #1 include Signature Bank (SBNY), Metro Bancorp, Inc. (METR) and Webster Financial Corp. (WBS).

Read the Full Research Report on SBNY

Read the Full Research Report on EGBN

Read the Full Research Report on METR

Read the Full Research Report on WBS

Zacks Investment Research

More From Zacks.com