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On Nov 15, Zacks Investment Research upgraded First NBC Bank Holding Company (NBCB - Snapshot Report) to a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

Why the Upgrade?

First NBC Bank has witnessed positive estimate revision on the back of strong third-quarter 2013 results. Moreover, the long-term expected earnings growth rate for this stock is 10%.

First NBC Bank reported its third-quarter results on Nov 7 with earnings per share of 54 cents, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 50 cents by 8%. However, it was below the year-ago earnings of 57 cents by 5.3%.

Robust results for the reported quarter were primarily aided by increase in net interest income and non-interest income. Moreover, First NBC Bank remained well capitalized.

As of Sep 30, 2013, net interest income stood at $21.8 million, increasing 14.9% year over year. Non-interest income surged 57.8% year over year to 2.5 million.

The company’s capital ratios remained strong in the quarter. As of Sep 30, 2013, Tier 1 leverage ratio was 11.82% and Tier 1 risk based capital ratio was 13.89%. Both the ratios are well above the regulatory minimum standards.

However, non interest expenses, which increased by 28.8% year over year to 17.1 million, was the headwind for the quarter.

For First NBC Bank, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2013 jumped roughly 1% to $2.13 per share over the last 30 days. For 2014, the Zacks Consensus Estimate surged 5.8% to $2.73 per share over the same time frame.

Other Stocks to Consider

Besides First NBC Bank, other Southeast banks worth considering include First Community Corporation (FCCO - Snapshot Report), American National Bankshares Inc. (AMNB - Snapshot Report) and SY Bancorp Inc. (SYBT - Snapshot Report). All these stocks carry a Zacks Rank #1.
 

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