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Fox Chase Bancorp Upped to Strong Buy

Zacks Equity Research

On Jul 11, Zacks Investment Research upgraded Fox Chase Bancorp, Inc. (FXCB) to a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

Why the Upgrade?

Fox Chase Bancorp has been witnessing rising earnings estimates following the announcement of strong first-quarter 2013 results. Moreover, this regional bank delivered positive earnings surprises in 3 of the last 4 quarters with an average beat of 25.9%.

Further, Fox Chase Bancorp is scheduled to announce second-quarter results on Jul 18.  The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the quarter is pegged at 11 cents per share. Moreover, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2013 advanced 7.0% to 46 cents over the last 90 days. Over the same time period, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2014 moved up by a penny to 42 cents per share.

Fox Chase Bancorp reported first-quarter 2013 results on Apr 24. Earnings per share beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by a nickel and the year-ago earnings by 60%. Results benefited from higher fee income, partially offset by a rise in expenses and a drop in net interest income. Additionally, Fox Chase Bancorp saw strong capital and profitability ratios.

Moreover, asset quality during the quarter witnessed improvement. Provision for loan losses declined 50% year over year to $0.6 million. Further, ratio of allowance for loan losses was 1.68% of total loans, down 4 basis points from the prior-year quarter.

Other Stocks to Consider

While we prefer Fox Chase Bancorp, other banks carrying a Zacks Rank #1 include Pacific Continental Corp. (PCBK), Banner Corporation (BANR) and First Interstate Bancsystem Inc. (FIBK).

Read the Full Research Report on FIBK

Read the Full Research Report on FXCB

Read the Full Research Report on PCBK

Read the Full Research Report on BANR

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