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Shares of Meta Financial Group, Inc. (CASH - Snapshot Report) achieved a new 52-week high, touching $41.05 in the last hour of trading on Dec 27, 2013. The closing price of this bank holding company reflects a robust year-to-date return of 76.6%. The trading volume for the session was 0.02 million shares.

Despite the strong price appreciation, this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) stock has plenty of upside left due to its strong estimate revisions over the last 30 days.

Growth Drivers

Impressive fiscal fourth-quarter (ended Sep 30) 2013 results comprising a positive earnings surprise of 1.6%, improving loan balance, strong capital position and enhanced credit quality were the major growth stimulants for the company.
 
On Dec 2, Meta Financial posted fiscal fourth-quarter earnings per share of 62 cents, which beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by a penny. Moreover, the reported figure was higher than 28 cents earned in the prior-year quarter. Better-than-expected results came on the back of increased revenues and lower operating expenses.

Additionally, Meta Financial has delivered positive earnings surprises in the past 4 quarters with an average beat of 16.7%.

Estimate Revisions Shows Strength

For fiscal 2014, 1 of the 2 estimates increased, leading to nearly 1% rise in the Zacks Consensus Estimate to $3.13 per share over the last 30 days. For fiscal 2015, the Zacks Consensus Estimate advanced 1.5% to $3.48 per share over the same time period as 1 out of 2 estimates moved north.

Some better-ranked banks include Great Southern Bancorp Inc. (GSBC - Snapshot Report), Mutualfirst Financial Inc. (MFSF - Snapshot Report) and Washington Federal Inc. (WAFD - Analyst Report). All these stocks have  a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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