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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Eagle Bancorp Montana, American River Bankshares, Meritage Homes, M/I Homes and KB Home

Zacks Equity Research
·6 mins read

For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – January 29, 2020 – Zacks.com announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include: Eagle Bancorp Montana Inc. EBMT, American River Bankshares AMRB, Meritage Homes Corp. MTH, M/I Homes Inc. MHO and KB Home KBH.

Here are highlights from Tuesday’s Analyst Blog:

5 Top-Ranked U.S.-Focused Stocks to Defy Volatility

On Jan 27, Wall Street plunged along with several major stock markets globally as investors' remained highly concerned about the impact of coronavirus on China and the global economy.

The Chinese health authority confirmed that already 4,515 people are infected among whom 106 have died. The United States, Australia, European region, Japan, South Korea, India and several Middle East countries have confirmed positive cases of coronavirus.

Stock Markets Plummet Globally

On Jan 27, the three major stock indexes — the Dow, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite — plunged 1.6%, 1.6% and 1.9%, respectively. For the Dow and the S&P 500, this represented the worst daily drop since Oct. 2, while the Nasdaq Composite declined the most since Aug 23.

The Dow continued its losing streak for five straight days, posting its longest losing streak since August. The S&P 500 recorded its first single-day decline of more than 1% after 74 consecutive trading days.

Internationally, Japanese Nikkei 225 shed 2%,  the German DAX lost 2.6%, France’s CAC 40 tumbled more than 2% and the pan-European Stoxx 600 Index tanked 2.3%. Meanwhile, the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) — popularly considered as the best volatility gauge of Wall Street — jumped 25.1% to 18.23.

U.S. Economy Remains Stable

A series of recently released economic data for December like retail sales, housing and manufacturing output confirmed U.S. economic stability and clearly indicates that the historically longest expansionary phase is here to stay.

The recently signed phase-one trade deal between the United States and China has significantly cooled down the nearly two-year old tariff war. The interim deal will at least help in restoring U.S. business confidence and global economic growth.

The Fed chair has reiterated his commitment to do whatever is needed to support economic expansion and not raise interest rate until inflation, which is currently just 1.6%, crosses the Fed’s target level of 2%. Unemployment rate is currently at the lowest level in 50 years.

Moreover, U.S. GDP grew more than 2% in the first three quarters of 2019 and is expected to grow more or less same in the fourth quarter. Corporate profits are estimated to take a positive turn from the beginning of 2020.

Why U.S.-Focused Stocks?

Investors are concerned that the outbreak of coronavirus will hurt sales of U.S. multinational companies as their products will be vulnerable in international markets. An expected decline in China's economic growth will delay global economic recovery. U.S. exports — especially the manufacturing and agricultural products — will face the brunt of it.

On the other hand, domestic-business-oriented companies are mostly immune to any external shock since the United States is the lone market for their products. Moreover, a stable and growing U.S. economy will support demand for their products. This will help them to outperform the broader market defying extreme volatility.

Our Top Picks

At this juncture, investment in domestic-business-focused stocks will be fruitful. We have narrowed down our search to five such stocks with strong growth potential. Each of our picks carries a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Eagle Bancorp Montana Inc. provides retail banking services in the south central portion of Montana. It offers various deposit and loan products and services. The company has an expected earnings growth rate of 11.6% for the current year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the current year has improved by 1% over the past 60 days.

American River Bankshares is a regional bank in Northern California with 10 full service branches in Sacramento, Sonoma, Placer and Amador Counties as well as two loan production offices in the San Francisco Bay Area. The company has an expected earnings growth rate of 24.5% for the current year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the current year has improved by 6.4% over the past 60 days.

Meritage Homes Corp. designs and builds single-family homes in the United States. It operates through two segments, Homebuilding and Financial Services. The company has an expected earnings growth rate of 19.2% for the current year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the current year has improved by 0.2% over the past 60 days.

M/I Homes Inc. operates as a builder of single-family homes in the United States. It operates through four segments: Midwest Homebuilding, Southern Homebuilding, Mid-Atlantic Homebuilding and Financial Services. The company has an expected earnings growth rate of 13% for the current year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the current year has improved by 3.5% over the past 60 days.

KB Home operates as a homebuilding company in the United States. It operates in four segments: West Coast, Southwest, Central and Southeast. The company has an expected earnings growth rate of 29.1% for the current year (ending November 2020). The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the current year has improved by 6.1% over the past 60 days.

5 Stocks Set to Double

Each was hand-picked by a Zacks expert as the #1 favorite stock to gain +100% or more in 2020. Each comes from a different sector and has unique qualities and catalysts that could fuel exceptional growth.

Most of the stocks in this report are flying under Wall Street radar, which provides a great opportunity to get in on the ground floor.

Today, See These 5 Potential Home Runs >>

Media Contact

Zacks Investment Research

800-767-3771 ext. 9339



Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Inherent in any investment is the potential for loss. This material is being provided for informational purposes only and nothing herein constitutes investment, legal, accounting or tax advice, or a recommendation to buy, sell or hold a security. No recommendation or advice is being given as to whether any investment is suitable for a particular investor. It should not be assumed that any investments in securities, companies, sectors or markets identified and described were or will be profitable. All information is current as of the date of herein and is subject to change without notice. Any views or opinions expressed may not reflect those of the firm as a whole. Zacks Investment Research does not engage in investment banking, market making or asset management activities of any securities. These returns are from hypothetical portfolios consisting of stocks with Zacks Rank = 1 that were rebalanced monthly with zero transaction costs. These are not the returns of actual portfolios of stocks. The S&P 500 is an unmanaged index. Visit https://www.zacks.com/performance for information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.

Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report
Eagle Bancorp Montana, Inc. (EBMT) : Free Stock Analysis Report
American River Bankshares (AMRB) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Meritage Homes Corporation (MTH) : Free Stock Analysis Report
KB Home (KBH) : Free Stock Analysis Report
M/I Homes, Inc. (MHO) : Free Stock Analysis Report
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