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Pepople Bancorp (PEBO): Zacks Rank Buy

Brian Bolan

Peoples Bancorp (PEBO) is a Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) after posting four upside surprises and gets higher estimates for 2012.

Company Description

Peoples Bancorp Inc. operates as a holding company for Peoples Bank, National Association that provides financial products and services. It offers commercial and retail banking, insurance, brokerage, and trust services. The company offers its financial products and services through 47 financial service locations and 40 ATMs in southeastern Ohio, northwestern West Virginia, and northeastern Kentucky. Peoples Bancorp Inc. was founded in 1902 and is based in Marietta, Ohio.

Four straight Beats Lead to Stock Appreciation

PEBO has topped the Zacks Consensus Estimate in each of the last four quarters with the average surprise coming in on average 29% ahead of expectations. These beats have ranged from a high of $0.11 down to $0.01 on two occasions.

Surprisingly, the surprise of $0.01 for the March 2011 quarter, which represented an 8% beat, was the biggest mover for the stock. Following that report, the stock moved higher by 11%. The biggest beat, in absolute terms, of $0.11 for the September 2011 quarter, saw the stock decrease by 5% after the release.

PEBO Recently Reported Earnings

On January 24, 2012 the company reported revenue of $22 million in line with estimates and equivalent to the year ago period. In addition, earnings per share came in at $0.33 up from $0.01 posted a year ago and $0.01 ahead of the Zacks Consensus Estimate.

Earnings Estimates Bumped Up

Following the most recent earnings report, analysts bumped up their earnings estimates for 2012. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2012 EPS moved from $1.16 in November 2011 to the current level of $1.42.


PEBO trades at a premium to its peer group in terms of trailing twelve months earnings and at a discount to forward earnings. A price to sales multiple of 1.6x is a slight discount to the peer group average of 1.8x.

The Chart

A quick look at the price and consensus chart shows that PEBO has tracked earnings estimates closely for the better part of the last two years. With recent move in the stock driven by what looks to be 2013 estimates, aggressive growth investors will keep an eye on future earnings revisions to get a heads up on where the stock is going. PEBO is a Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy).

Peoples Bancorp - ticker PEBO >

Brian Bolan is the Aggressive Growth Stock Strategist for Zacks.com. He is also the Editor in charge of the Zacks Home Run Investor service

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