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Shares of Stifel Financial Corp. (SF - Snapshot Report) crafted a new 52-week high, touching $40.45 in the first half of the trading session on Aug 28. The closing price of this retail and institutional brokerage, and investment banking services provider represents a solid year-to-date return of 20.2%. The trading volume for the session was 550,782 shares.

Despite hitting its 52-week high, this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) stock has plenty of upside left, given its strong estimate revisions over the last 30 days and expected long-term earnings growth of 14.0%.

Growth Drivers

Impressive second-quarter 2013 results – including a positive earnings surprise of 9.1% and significant improvement in net revenues – as well as a strong capital position were the primary growth drivers for Stifel Financial.

On Aug 8, Stifel Financial reported its second-quarter 2013 net income of 60 cents per share, outpacing the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 9.1%. Moreover, results surpassed the prior-year quarter earnings of 42 cents by 42.9%.

A year-over-year increase of 33.2% in net revenues and a rise in total assets were the tailwinds for the quarter. Moreover, the company’s capital ratios depict its strong position. However, an escalation of 35.4% in non-interest expenses acted as a dampener.

Further, Stifel Financial has now delivered positive earnings surprises in the last 4 quarters with an average beat of 10.9%.

Estimate Revisions Show Potency

Over the last 30 days, 3 out of 4 estimates for 2013 have been revised upward for Stifel Financial, lifting the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 1.8% to $2.28 per share. For 2014, the Zacks Consensus Estimate moved down 1.9% to $2.64 per share.

Some better performing investment brokers include GAIN Capital Holdings, Inc. (GCAP - Snapshot Report) and TD Ameritrade Holding Corporation (AMTD - Analyst Report) with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), while E*TRADE Financial Corporation (ETFC - Analyst Report) carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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