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Zacks Investment Research upgraded Pinnacle Financial Partners, Inc. (PNFP - Snapshot Report) to a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) on Jun 20, 2013.

Why the Upgrade?

Shares of Pinnacle Financial have grown 15.3% since this financial services firm reported impressive results for the first quarter of 2013. Earnings per share came in at 39 cents, way above 21 cents in the year-ago quarter and 18.2% above the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 33 cents.

Interest income grew 2.9% year over year while a decline of 30.4% was recorded in interest expense. Overall, net interest income after provision for loan losses increased 5.5% in the quarter. Talking of the non interest income and expenses, the former increased by 19.6% while the latter fell 9.4% year over year. Pre-tax income grew roughly 59.1% in the quarter.  

Exiting the quarter, Pinnacle Financial had cash and cash equivalents of $99.6 million while its loan (net of loan losses allowance) balance was approximately $3.7 billion. Total deposits were roughly $3.9 billion, including 20.2% of interest bearing deposits and 25.0% of non interest bearing deposits.

Pinnacle Financial’s solid quarter results as well as positive earnings surprise in the trailing four quarters with an average of 10.2%, raise our optimism for the company’s better results. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2013 and 2014 currently is at $1.58 and $1.69, representing an increase of 12.1% and 9.7%, respectively, in the last 90 days.

Other Stocks to Consider

Pinnacle Financial currently has an $857 million market capitalization. Other stocks that are worth a look in the industry are Ameris Bancorp (ABCB - Snapshot Report), Farmers Capital Bank Corporation (FFKT - Snapshot Report) and First M&F Corporation , each has a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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