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Why Is Zions (ZION) Up 8.3% Since Last Earnings Report?

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A month has gone by since the last earnings report for Zions (ZION - Free Report) . Shares have added about 8.3% in that time frame, outperforming the S&P 500.

Will the recent positive trend continue leading up to its next earnings release, or is Zions due for a pullback? Before we dive into how investors and analysts have reacted as of late, let's take a quick look at its most recent earnings report in order to get a better handle on the important catalysts.

Zions Q2 Earnings Beat, Revenues & Expenses Rise

Zions Bancorporation’s second-quarter 2021 net earnings per share of $2.08 surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.25. The bottom line marks a significant improvement from 34 cents earned in the year-ago quarter.

Results were primarily aided by an increase in non-interest income and provision benefits. The company witnessed a rise in deposit balances in the quarter. However, a fall in net interest income (NII) and higher expenses were the headwinds.

Net income attributable to common shareholders was $345 million, up substantially from the prior-year quarter’s $57 million.

Revenues Improve, Expenses Rise

Net revenues were $760 million, up 11.8% year over year. The top line surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $711.9 million.

NII was $555 million, down 1.4% from the prior-year quarter. Net interest margin contracted 44 basis points (bps) year over year to 2.79%.

Non-interest income was $205 million, jumping 75.2% from the year-ago quarter. The increase was driven by an improvement in almost all fee income components.

Adjusted non-interest expenses were $419 million, up 4.2% from the prior-year quarter.

Efficiency ratio was 59.1%, up from 57.3% reported in the prior-year period. A rise in efficiency ratio indicates deterioration in profitability.

As of Jun 30, 2021, net loans held for investment were $50.9 billion, down 3.7% from the prior quarter end. Total deposits were $76.1 billion, up 3% sequentially.

Credit Quality Improves

The ratio of non-performing assets to loans and leases as well as other real estate owned contracted 2 bps year over year to 0.60%. In the reported quarter, the company recorded net loan and lease recoveries of $2 million against charge-offs of $31 million in the prior-year quarter.

Provision for credit losses was a benefit of $123 million against a provision of $168 million reported in the year-earlier quarter.

Capital Ratios Mixed, Profitability Ratios Improve

Tier 1 leverage ratio was 8.0% as of Jun 30, 2021, compared with 8.4% recorded at the end of the prior-year quarter. Tier 1 risk-based capital ratio of 12.1% increased from 11.2%.

At the end of the reported quarter, return on average assets was 1.65%, up from 0.35% as of Jun 30, 2020. Also, return on average tangible common equity was 21.6%, up from 3.8% witnessed in the year-ago quarter.

Share Repurchase Update

During the quarter, Zions repurchased shares worth $100 million.


Management has provided outlook for financial performance for the second quarter of 2022 on a year-over-year basis. The quarters in between are subject to normal seasonality.

Loans [excluding paycheck protection program (PPP) loans] are expected to witness slight to moderate growth.

NII (excluding PPP loan income) is projected to increase slightly.

Customer-related fees (excluding securities gains and dividends) are expected to grow modestly. Also, wealth management revenues are projected to continue its double-digit growth trend and mortgage banking revenues will likely remain stable.

On the cost front, adjusted non-interest expenses are likely to increase slightly.

How Have Estimates Been Moving Since Then?

It turns out, estimates revision have trended upward during the past month. The consensus estimate has shifted 13.47% due to these changes.

VGM Scores

Currently, Zions has a poor Growth Score of F, however its Momentum Score is doing a lot better with a B. Charting a somewhat similar path, the stock was allocated a grade of C on the value side, putting it in the middle 20% for this investment strategy.

Overall, the stock has an aggregate VGM Score of D. If you aren't focused on one strategy, this score is the one you should be interested in.


Estimates have been trending upward for the stock, and the magnitude of these revisions looks promising. Notably, Zions has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). We expect an in-line return from the stock in the next few months.

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