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Shares of The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. (PNC - Analyst Report) set a new 52-week high, touching $70.40 in the second half of the trading session on May 14. The closing price of this major regional bank represents a solid year-to-date return of 19.4%. The trading volume for the session was 3.05 million shares, higher than the average 2.98 million shares over the last 3 months.

Despite hitting its 52-week high, this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) stock has plenty of upside left given its strong estimate revisions over the last 30 days and expected year-over-year earnings growth of 6.5% for 2013.

Growth Drivers

Impressive first-quarter 2013 results –– including an earnings surprise of 12.1%, year-over-year growth of 6% in revenues and a 2% decline in non-interest expenses – as well as a strong capital position were the primary growth drivers for PNC Financial.

On Apr 17, PNC Financial reported its first-quarter earnings per share of $1.76, significantly exceeding the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.57. Moreover, results beat the earnings per share of $1.44 recorded in the prior-year quarter.
 
Better-than-expected results reflected improved top line. Moreover, lower nonperforming assets and reduced non-interest expenses were the positives. PNC Financial remains on track to reduce full-year 2013 non-interest expense from 2012 levels and realize $700 million in expense savings in 2013.

Moreover, the company has now delivered positive earnings surprises for 4 straight quarters with an average beat of 13.3%.

Estimate Revisions Show Potency

Over the last 30 days, 17 of the 21 estimates for 2013 have been revised upward for PNC Financial, lifting the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 2.0% to $6.68 per share. For 2014, 9 of the 20 estimates moved north, helping the Zacks Consensus Estimate advance 0.7% to $6.89 per share.

Some well performing banks include JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM - Analyst Report), Fifth Third Bancorp (FITB - Analyst Report) and State Street Corporation (STT - Analyst Report), all of which carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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