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Shares of Community Bank System Inc. (CBU - Free Report) achieved a new 52-week high, touching $37.55 in the second half of the trading session on Nov 21, 2013. The stock closed the session at $37.51, registering a solid year-to-date return of 35.9%. The trading volume for the session was 0.14 million shares, higher than the average of 0.12 million over the last 3 months.

Despite the strong price appreciation, this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) stock has plenty of upside left, given its estimate revisions over the last 30 days and expected long-term earnings growth of 9.9%.

Growth Drivers

Impressive third-quarter 2013 results comprising a positive earnings surprise of 3.9%, along with underlying strength in its balance sheet driven by restructuring initiatives were the primary growth drivers for Community Bank.

On Oct 21, Community Bank reported third-quarter results. The company’s earnings 54 cents per share outpaced the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 52 cents. Results benefited from top-line growth, partially offset by higher expenses.

Additionally, in July, Community Bank announced a deal to acquire 8 branch-banking locations from Bank of America, N.A, banking subsidiary of Bank of America Corporation (BAC - Free Report) . The deal, which is expected to close by the end of this year, will add nearly $340 million in deposits to the company’s balance sheet.

Estimate Revisions

Over the last 30 days, 3 out of 4 estimates for 2013 have been revised upward, lifting the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 1% to $2.08 per share. Similarly, for 2014, 3 out of 4 estimates moved north over the same time frame, causing the Zacks Consensus Estimate to rise by 1.4% to $2.14 per share.

Some better-ranked stocks in the finance sector include CNB Financial Corp. (CCNE - Free Report) and Arrow Financial Corporation . Both these carry a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

In-Depth Zacks Research for the Tickers Above

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Bank of America Corporation (BAC) - free report >>

Community Bank System, Inc. (CBU) - free report >>

CNB Financial Corporation (CCNE) - free report >>

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