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Shares of Monarch Financial Holdings, Inc. (MNRK - Snapshot Report) achieved a new 52-week high, touching $12.55 at the end of the trading session on Aug 22, 2013. The closing price of this bank holding company reflects a robust year-to-date return of 50.8%. The trading volume for the session was 0.13 million shares, compared to the 3-month average of 0.02 million shares.

Despite the strong price appreciation, this Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) stock has plenty of upside left due to its estimate revisions.

Growth Drivers

Impressive second-quarter 2013 results comprising a positive earnings surprise of 11.5%, improving loan and deposit balances, strong capital position and enhanced credit quality were the primary growth drivers for Monarch Financial.
On Jul 25, Monarch Financial reported second-quarter earnings per share of 29 cents, surpassing the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 3 cents. Moreover, earnings improved 2 cents from the prior-year quarter figure.
The better-than-expected results were primarily driven by increase in both net interest and non-interest income, partially offset by higher operating expenses.

Additionally, Monarch Financial has delivered positive earnings surprises in the trailing 4 quarters with an average beat of 21.3%.

Estimate Revisions

For 2013, the Zacks Consensus Estimate moved north by 2.6% to $1.17 per share over the last 30 days, based on the sole estimate being revised upwards. For 2014, the Zacks Consensus Estimate inched up 1.6% to $1.26 per share over the same time period.

Some better performing banks in the Southeast include Farmers Capital Bank Corporation (FFKT - Snapshot Report), First Bancorp (FBNC - Snapshot Report) and First M&F Corporation . All of them carry a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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