U.S. Markets closed

Pulaski Financial Upped to Strong Buy

Zacks Equity Research

On Aug 3, Zacks Investment Research upgraded Pulaski Financial Corporation (PULB) to a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

Why the Upgrade?

Pulaski Financial has been witnessing rising earnings estimates following the announcement of strong fiscal third-quarter 2013 results. Moreover, this regional bank has delivered earnings surprise in the last 4 quarters, with an average beat of 8.2%.

Pulaski Financial reported fiscal third-quarter 2013 results on Jul 30. Earnings per share beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 3.6% and the year-ago earnings by 45.0%. Results benefited from higher fee income and stable operating expenses, partially offset by a drop in net interest income.

Net interest income fell 4.2% year over year to $11.2 million due to a 7.0% drop in interest income. However, non-interest income increased 19.8% to $4.9 million. Furthermore, non-interest expense remained almost stable at $8.8 million.

Moreover, asset quality improved during the quarter. Provision for loan losses declined 40.0% year over year to $1.8 million. Likewise, net charge-offs were $1.8 million, down 43.8% from the prior-year quarter.

Additionally, following the earnings release, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for fiscal 2013 increased 3.7% to $1.12 per share, over the last 30 days. Similarly, for fiscal 2014, the Zacks Consensus Estimate advanced 9.4% to $1.16 per share over the same time period.

Positive earnings surprises and favorable estimate revisions stimulated the rank upgrade.

Other Stocks to Consider

While we prefer Pulaski Financial, other stocks carrying a Zacks Rank #1 include Washington Federal Inc. (WAFD), Provident Financial Services, Inc. (PFS) and Banner Corporation (BANR).

Read the Full Research Report on WAFD

Read the Full Research Report on PULB

Read the Full Research Report on PFS

Read the Full Research Report on BANR

Zacks Investment Research

More From Zacks.com