On Jul 11, Zacks Investment Research upgraded Fox Chase Bancorp, Inc. to a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).
Why the Upgrade?
Fox Chase Bancorp has been witnessing rising earnings estimates following the announcement of strong first-quarter 2013 results. Moreover, this regional bank delivered positive earnings surprises in 3 of the last 4 quarters with an average beat of 25.9%.
Further, Fox Chase Bancorp is scheduled to announce second-quarter results on Jul 18. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the quarter is pegged at 11 cents per share. Moreover, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2013 advanced 7.0% to 46 cents over the last 90 days. Over the same time period, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2014 moved up by a penny to 42 cents per share.
Fox Chase Bancorp reported first-quarter 2013 results on Apr 24. Earnings per share beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by a nickel and the year-ago earnings by 60%. Results benefited from higher fee income, partially offset by a rise in expenses and a drop in net interest income. Additionally, Fox Chase Bancorp saw strong capital and profitability ratios.
Moreover, asset quality during the quarter witnessed improvement. Provision for loan losses declined 50% year over year to $0.6 million. Further, ratio of allowance for loan losses was 1.68% of total loans, down 4 basis points from the prior-year quarter.
Other Stocks to Consider
While we prefer Fox Chase Bancorp, other banks carrying a Zacks Rank #1 include Pacific Continental Corp. (PCBK - Free Report) , Banner Corporation (BANR - Free Report) and First Interstate Bancsystem Inc. (FIBK - Free Report) .