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On Jul 6, Zacks Investment Research upgraded Cape Bancorp, Inc. (CBNJ - Snapshot Report) to a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

Why the Upgrade?

Cape Bancorp has been witnessing rising earnings estimates on the back of strong first-quarter 2013 results. Moreover, this well-known various business and personal banking products and services provider delivered positive earnings surprises in 3 of the last 4 quarters with an average beat of 36.5%.

Cape Bancorp reported its first-quarter results on Apr 19 with earnings per share of 12 cents, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 7 cents by 71.4%. Robust results for the reported quarter were primarily aided by substantial reduction in provision for loan losses. Moreover, the company reflected a strong capital position and a marked improvement in credit quality.

As of Mar 31, 2013, total net loans stood at $720.6 million, up from $714.4 million in the prior quarter. Core deposits totaled $544.0 million, representing a hike of $1.6 million sequentially.

Reduced net interest and non-interest income along with undisciplined expense management were on the downside. Therefore, efficiency ratio deteriorated to 73.18% from 70.74% in the prior quarter.

Following first-quarter 2013 results, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2013 jumped 13.3% to 34 cents per share over the last 60 days. For 2014, the Zacks Consensus Estimate surged 9.4% to 35 cents per share over the same time frame.

Other Stocks to Consider

Besides Cape Bancorp, other stocks in the same sector that are worth considering include Banner Corporation (BANR - Snapshot Report), First PacTrust Bancorp, Inc. (BANC - Snapshot Report) and Westfield Financial Inc. (WFD - Snapshot Report). All the 3 companies carry a Zacks Rank #1.

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