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First Midwest Hits New 52-Week High

Zacks Equity Research

Shares of First Midwest Bancorp Inc. (FMBI) hit a new 52-week high, touching $16.08 at the beginning of the trading session on Aug 21. However, the stock closed the session at $15.77, reflecting year-to-date return of 18.9%. The trading volume for the session was 194,438 shares.

Despite the strong price appreciation, this Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) Midwest bank has considerable upside left, given its positive estimate revisions over the last 30 days and expected long-term earnings growth of 8.33%.

Growth Drivers

First Midwest’s impressive price performance was primarily driven by encouraging second-quarter 2013 results, along with a 300% hike in quarterly cash dividend.

On Jul 24, First Midwest declared second-quarter earnings of 22 cents per share, in line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate. Moreover, net income was $16.0 million, rising significantly from $6.3 million in the year-ago quarter.

Along with the earnings release, the board of directors of First Midwest declared a quarterly cash dividend of 4 cents per share compared with 1 cent in the prior-year quarter. The latest payout was the company’s 122nd consecutive dividend payout.

Estimate Revisions Show Potency

In the last 30 days, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2013 increased 1.1% to 90 cents per share. For 2014, the Zacks Consensus Estimate advanced 1.9% to $1.02 per share over the same time frame.

Better performing banks include First Interstate Bancsystem Inc. (FIBK), Firstbank Corporation (FBMI) and Mercantile Bank Corp. (MBWM). All these stocks carry a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

Read the Full Research Report on FMBI

Read the Full Research Report on FIBK

Read the Full Research Report on MBWM

Read the Full Research Report on FBMI

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