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Here's Why Peoples Bancorp (PEBO) Stock is a Solid Pick Now

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It seems to be a wise idea to add Peoples Bancorp Inc. (PEBO - Free Report) stock to your portfolio now, given its underlying strength and solid growth prospects amid the prevailing coronavirus crisis. The company has been undertaking a number of efforts to improve its efficiency and optimize operations.

The bank has been witnessing upward estimate revisions, reflecting analysts’ optimism about its growth prospects. Over the past 60 days, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for its 2020 earnings has moved 5.4% north.

This Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) stock has lost 10.8% in the last three months compared with the 7.9% decline of the industry.

There are a number of other aspects, which make the stock an attractive investment option.

5 Factors That Make Peoples Bancorp an Attractive Buy

Revenue Strength: The company has witnessed a rise in net revenues over the last five years. Total revenues are projected to grow at a rate of 2.75% in 2020 (compared with the industry average of 1.87%). This upward trend is anticipated to be supported by a decent lending scenario and the company’s efforts to boost its fee income.

Earnings per Share Growth: The company has witnessed a rise in earnings over the last three years. Notably, Peoples Bancorp’s earnings for 2021 are projected to jump 52.3%. This earnings momentum is likely to continue in the near term, as reflected by the company’s impressive earnings surprise history. Its earnings surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate in three of the trailing four quarters and missed in the other.

Steady Capital-Deployment Activities: The company remains committed to enhancing its shareholders’ value. This February, the board authorized the repurchase of up to total of $40 million of its common stock. Further, the bank has been actively paying common stock dividends for years, with the latest hike in May 2019.

Strong leverage: Peoples Bancorp’s debt/equity ratio is 0.20, compared with the industry average of 0.38, displaying a lower debt burden relative to the industry. It highlights the company’s financial stability even in an unstable economic environment.

Stock seems undervalued: With respect to the price/cash flow and price-to-book value ratios, Peoples Bancorp seems undervalued. It has a P/CF ratio of 4.94 and a P/B ratio of 0.65, both of which are below the respective industry average of 6.24 and 0.76.

Also, the stock has a Value Score of B. The Value Style Score condenses all valuation metrics into one actionable score that helps investors steer clear of ‘value traps’ and identify stocks that are truly trading at a discount. Our research shows that stocks with the combination of a Style Score of A or B, and carrying a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) or 2, offer the best upside potential.

Other stocks to Consider

TD Ameritrade Holding Corporation has been witnessing upward estimate revisions for the past 60 days. Moreover, this Zacks #2 Ranked stock has gained 6.9% in the past three months. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Morgan Stanley (MS - Free Report) has been witnessing upward estimate revisions for the past 60 days. Further, the company’s shares have lost 0.4% in the past three months. At present, it carries a Zacks Rank of 2.

Independent Bank Corporation (IBCP - Free Report) has been witnessing upward estimate revisions for the past 60 days. Additionally, the stock has depreciated 14.3% in three months’ time. It currently carries a Zacks Rank #2.

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