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Zacks Investment Research upgraded Kearny Financial Corp. (KRNY) to a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) on June 12, 2013.

Why the Upgrade?

Positive revision in earnings estimates and share price gain of roughly 6.5% since the announcement of fiscal third quarter 2013 (ended Mar 31) results on May 2, 2013 raise optimism for better financial results ahead for Kearny Financial.

Earnings per share in the quarter were 3 cents compared with 2 cents earned in the sequential quarter and 200% above the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a cent. The sequential increase can be attributed to higher net interest and non-interest income in the quarter. However, the results were, to some extent, offset by higher non-interest expense in the quarter that registered a 58% increase sequentially.

Following the release of the fiscal third quarter 2013 results in the last 60 days, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for Kearny Financial increased 40% to 7 cents for 2013 and rose by 100% to 8 cents for 2014.
Additionally, increase in earnings estimate as well as positive earnings surprise in two trailing quarters with an average of 125%, raise optimism for the Kearny Financial’s performance in the quarters ahead.

Other Stocks to Consider

Kearny Financial through its subsidiary Kearny Federal Savings Bank, provides financial services to its customers in New Jersey. The company has a $673 million market capitalization currently.

Other stocks to watch out for in the industry are First Pactrust Bancorp, Inc. (BANC - Snapshot Report), Mutualfirst Financial Inc. (MFSF - Snapshot Report) and Great Southern Bancorp Inc. (GSBC - Snapshot Report), each with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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