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On Aug 28, Zacks Investment Research upgraded Grupo Financiero Galicia S.A. (GGAL - Snapshot Report) to a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

Why the Upgrade?

Grupo Financiero has been witnessing rising earnings estimates following the announcement of robust second-quarter 2013 results. Moreover, this Argentinean bank has delivered an average beat of 5.6% in the past four quarters.

Grupo Financiero reported second-quarter 2013 results on Aug 8. Earnings per share of 56 cents surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 4 cents. Results benefited from top-line growth and a rise in provision for credit losses, partially offset by higher administrative expenses.

Results were also boosted by the income derived from Grupo Financiero’s stake in Banco de Galicia y Buenos Aires S.A. and in Sudamericana Holding S.A. and from the deferred tax adjustment of 15.1 million pesos ($2.9 million).

Financial income rose 7.4% sequentially to $2.9 billion pesos ($0.6 billion). Moreover, income from services jumped 14.3% to $1.0 billion pesos ($0.2 billion). On the flip side, administrative expenses rose 9.2% from the prior quarter to $1.8 billion pesos. ($0.3 billion). However, provision for loan losses dropped 1.4% to 434.7 million pesos ($82.8 million).

Additionally, following the earnings release, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2013 increased 3.4% to $2.11 per share over the last 7 days. Similarly, for 2014, the Zacks Consensus Estimate advanced 7.4% to $2.04 per share over the same time period.

Positive earnings surprises and favorable estimate revisions stimulated the rank upgrade.

Other Stocks to Consider

While we prefer Grupo Financiero, other stocks carrying a Zacks Rank #1 include Glacier Bancorp Inc. (GBCI - Snapshot Report), Prosperity Bancshares Inc. (PB - Analyst Report) and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc. (SMFG - Snapshot Report).

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