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Analyst Blog

Shares of UBS AG (UBS - Analyst Report) crafted a new 52-week high, touching $18.71 in the middle of the trading session on May 20. The closing price of this foreign bank represents a solid year-to-date return of 14.6%. The trading volume for the session was 2.6 million shares.

Despite hitting its 52-week high, this Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) stock has plenty of upside left, given its strong estimate revisions over the last 60 days and expected long-term earnings growth of 20.0%.

Growth Drivers

Impressive first-quarter 2013 results – including lower net charges for provisions for litigation and regulatory matters as well as reduced own credit loss – along with a strong capital position were the primary growth drivers for UBS AG.

On Apr 30, UBS AG reported first-quarter net income attributable to shareholders of CHF 988 million ($1,062.3 million), which substantially outpaced the prior-quarter’s loss of CHF 1.9 billion ($2.0 billion). The company experienced higher net interest and trading revenues along with elevated net fee and commission income. Further, decreased operating expenses acted as a tailwind for the quarter.

Moreover, at UBS AG’s Investment Bank unit, the company experienced a pre-tax profit of around CHF 977 million ($1,050.5 million) compared with a loss of CHF 243 million ($260.9 million) in the prior quarter, reflecting improved markets.

Estimate Revisions Show Potency

Over the last 60 days, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2013 has moved up by 10.3% to $1.50 per share. For 2014, the Zacks Consensus Estimate advanced 14.4% to $1.83 per share.

Other foreign banks that are worth considering include National Bank of Canada (NTIOF - Snapshot Report), The Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD - Snapshot Report) and Deutsche Bank AG (DB - Analyst Report), all carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).