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Analyst Blog

Shares of Community Trust Bancorp Inc. (CTBI - Snapshot Report) touched a new 52-week high of $46.28 during the first half of the trading session on Nov 29. However, the stock closed the session at $45.73, which reflects a year-to-date return of 38.8%. The trading volume for the session was 14,272 shares.

Despite the strong price appreciation, this Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) Southeast bank still has considerable upside left, given its positive estimate revision over the last 60 days and expected long-term earnings growth of 5.0%.

Growth Drivers

Community Trust Bancorp’s impressive performance was driven by strong-third quarter 2013 results comprising a positive earnings surprise of 8.0%. Additionally, the company maintains a robust capital position in compliance with regulatory requirements.

On Oct 16, Community Trust Bancorp declared third-quarter earnings of 81 cents per share, which beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 75 cents. Better-than-expected results were driven by top-line growth and lower operating expenses.

Community Trust Bancorp’s total outstanding loans were $2.6 billion, up 2.5% from the prior-year quarter. The increase was primarily due to improved performances in the commercial loan portfolio, residential loan portfolio and consumer loan portfolio.

Community Trust Bancorp continues to disburse regular cash dividends, which reflect its steady balance sheet position. On Nov 8, the company announced a cash dividend of 32 cents. The dividend will be paid on Jan 1, 2014 to shareholders of record as of Dec 15.

Estimate Revisions Show Potency

In the last 60 days, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2013 increased nearly 2.7% to $3.08 per share. For 2014, the Zacks Consensus Estimate advanced 2.0% to $3.09 per share over the same time frame.

Other banks in the same region worth considering include American National Bankshares Inc. (AMNB - Snapshot Report), First NBC Bank Holding Company (NBCB - Snapshot Report) and Bank of Kentucky Financial Corp. (BKYF - Snapshot Report). While American National Bankshares and First NBC Bank carry a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Bank of Kentucky Financial holds the same Zacks Rank as Community Trust Bancorp.

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