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Are Finance Stocks Lagging Cathay General Bancorp (CATY) This Year?

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The Finance group has plenty of great stocks, but investors should always be looking for companies that are outperforming their peers. Cathay General (CATY - Free Report) is a stock that can certainly grab the attention of many investors, but do its recent returns compare favorably to the sector as a whole? By taking a look at the stock's year-to-date performance in comparison to its Finance peers, we might be able to answer that question.

Cathay General is one of 885 companies in the Finance group. The Finance group currently sits at #1 within the Zacks Sector Rank. The Zacks Sector Rank includes 16 different groups and is listed in order from best to worst in terms of the average Zacks Rank of the individual companies within each of these sectors.

The Zacks Rank is a successful stock-picking model that emphasizes earnings estimates and estimate revisions. The system highlights a number of different stocks that could be poised to outperform the broader market over the next one to three months. Cathay General is currently sporting a Zacks Rank of #2 (Buy).

Over the past three months, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for CATY's full-year earnings has moved 4.2% higher. This shows that analyst sentiment has improved and the company's earnings outlook is stronger.

Our latest available data shows that CATY has returned about 6.1% since the start of the calendar year. Meanwhile, the Finance sector has returned an average of -11.2% on a year-to-date basis. This means that Cathay General is outperforming the sector as a whole this year.

Another Finance stock, which has outperformed the sector so far this year, is Associated Banc-Corp (ASB - Free Report) . The stock has returned 8.8% year-to-date.

The consensus estimate for Associated Banc-Corp's current year EPS has increased 4.9% over the past three months. The stock currently has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

Looking more specifically, Cathay General belongs to the Banks - West industry, which includes 34 individual stocks and currently sits at #25 in the Zacks Industry Rank. On average, stocks in this group have lost 31.3% this year, meaning that CATY is performing better in terms of year-to-date returns.

On the other hand, Associated Banc-Corp belongs to the Banks - Midwest industry. This 29-stock industry is currently ranked #23. The industry has moved +2% year to date.

Investors with an interest in Finance stocks should continue to track Cathay General and Associated Banc-Corp. These stocks will be looking to continue their solid performance.

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