Shares of Firstbank Corporation crafted a new 52-week high, touching $17.96 at the end of the trading session on Aug 13. However, the stock closed the session at $17.53, reflecting a solid year-to-date return of 69.4%. The trading volume for the session was 14,418 shares.
Despite the strong price appreciation, this Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) Midwest bank has considerable upside left, given its positive estimate revisions over the last 30 days.
Firstbank Corporation’s impressive price performance reflects strong second-quarter 2013 results including positive earnings surprise of 18.8%, marked improvement in its credit quality along with clearance of all of its outstanding Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) dues.
On Jul 22, Firstbank Corporation declared second-quarter earnings of 38 cents per share, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 32 cents. Moreover, net income of $3.3 million increased 38.1% year over year.
Non-accrual loans were $11.8 million, down 33.7% from $17.9 million in second-quarter 2012. Further, net charge offs were $1.2 million, decreasing 47.0% from the prior-year quarter.
During the quarter, the company redeemed all of the remaining shares of Series A Preferred Stock worth $17.0 million. This depicts its recovery from the recession and re-instills shareholders’ faith in the stock.
Moreover, Firstbank Corporation has delivered positive earnings surprises in the trailing 4 quarters with an average beat of 29.7%.
Estimate Revisions Show Potency
Over the last 30 days, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2013 increased 13.4% to $1.44 per share. For 2014, the Zacks Consensus Estimate advanced 10.3% to $1.39 per share over the same time frame.
Apart from Firstbank Corporation, other banks that are worth considering include First Interstate Bancsystem Inc. (FIBK - Free Report) , First Merchants Corporation (FRME - Free Report) and PrivateBancorp, Inc. . All these 3 companies carry a Zacks Rank #1.