Shares of Metro Bancorp, Inc. (METR) hit a new 52-week high, touching $20.54 in the first half of the trading session on Jun 17. However, the stock closed the session at $19.98, which reflects a solid year-to-date return of 49.3%. The trading volume for the session was 24,752 shares.
Despite the strong price appreciation, this Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) northeast bank has plenty of upside left, given its strong estimate revisions over the last 60 days and expected year-over-year earnings growth of 13.6% for 2013.
Metro’s impressive price performance reflects solid first-quarter 2013 results which include positive earnings surprise of 52.9%. Additionally, the company maintains a robust capital position in compliance with the regulatory guidelines.
On Apr 22, Metro declared its first-quarter earnings of 26 cents per share, substantially beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 17 cents. Moreover, net income of $3.6 million marked a 36.8% year over year increase.
Growth in loans and deposits remains key driving force at Metro. Loan portfolio grew 7% year over year $1.5 billion and total deposits surged 5% year over year to $2.2 billion in the first quarter.
Moreover, Metro has delivered positive earnings surprises in the trailing 4 quarters with an average beat of 26.1%.
Estimate Revisions Show Potency
In the last 60 days, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2013 increased 15.8% to 88 cents per share. For 2014, the Zacks Consensus Estimate advanced 5.7% to 92 cents per share over the same time frame.
Apart from Metro, other banks which are worth considering include Sandy Spring Bancorp Inc. (SASR) – with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), as well as Mb Financial Inc. (MBFI) and Oritani Financial Corp New (ORIT) – with a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
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