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Analyst Blog

Shares of Comerica Inc. (CMA - Analyst Report) hit a new 52-week high, touching $38.71 on May 13. The closing price of this regional bank reflected a solid year-to-date return of 22.9%. The trading volume for the session was 1.8 million shares.

Despite hitting its 52-week high, this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) stock still has plenty of upside left, given its strong estimate revisions over the last 30 days and the expected year-over-year earnings growth of 6.0% for 2013.

Growth Drivers

Impressive first-quarter 2013 results – including an earnings surprise of 4.5%, credit quality improvement, and solid capital position – as well as strong capital deployment activities with a 13% increase in quarterly dividend in Jan 2013 and an increased share buyback program have been the primary growth drivers for the stock.

On Apr 16, Comerica’s first-quarter 2013 earnings came in at 70 cents per share, surpassing 68 cents reported in the year-ago quarter. Moreover, earnings beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 3 cents.

Comerica’s results reflected a reduction in expenses. Further, growth in average loans and improved credit metrics were the other positives.

Additionally, Comerica has delivered positive earnings surprises for 4 straight quarters with an average beat of 10.3%.

Estimate Revisions Show Potency

For Comerica, over the last 30 days, 16 of the 22 estimates for 2013 have been revised upward, raising the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 1.8% to $2.78 per share. For 2014, over the same time-frame, 12 of the 21 estimates moved north, raising the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 1.1% to 2.80.

Better performing banks in the same sector include TriCo Bancshares (TCBK - Snapshot Report), Preferred Bank (PFBC - Snapshot Report) and American National Bankshares Inc. (AMNB - Snapshot Report), all of which carry a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).