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Analyst Blog

Investors recently have been apprehensive of investing in the finance sector with no clear direction from the Fed on the rate hike front. Particularly, the concerns over the low rate environment affecting core business models of most of the players are holding investors back from betting on this sector.

However, entirely overlooking the sector will not be a wise move either, as there are a number of companies with a decent performance history and strong growth potential. In fact, betting on these stocks, taking advantage of their low entry points, may prove to be extremely rewarding.

MB Financial (MBFI - Free Report) is one such company that continues to reflect strength in some areas and adding its stock to your investment portfolio may result in solid returns. Notably, shares of this Chicago-based bank gained more than 18% year to date.
 

With assets worth $16 billion, MB Financial provides financial services to small and middle market businesses, and individuals in the United States.

Why is the Stock an Attractive Pick Now?

Strength in Earnings per Share: MB Financial witnessed over 13%  increase in earnings per share over the last three to five years. Earnings are expected 15.2% for the current year and 10.5% over the next three to five years.

Moreover, MB Financial has a decent earnings surprise history. It surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by an average of 2.8% over the trailing four quarters.

Revenue Growth: MB Financial has been witnessing consistent improvement in revenues for the past few years. Over the last three years (2013–2015), the company’s revenues recorded a CAGR of 35.9%. Revenues are expected to grow 16.3% for the current year.

Strong Leverage: The debt-to-equity ratio for MB Financial stands at 0.35 compared with the industry average of 0.61. This indicates greater financial stability for the company and lesser risk for shareholders.

Upward Estimates Revisions: Over the past 60 days, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for MB Financial has revised 1.3% upward to $2.33 per share for 2016. The positive earnings estimate revisions helped it earn a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

Other Stocks to Consider

Some other stocks in the same space worth considering are County Bancorp (ICBK - Free Report) , Midland States (MSBI - Free Report) and Horizon Bancorp (HBNC - Free Report) .

County Bancorp witnessed an upward earnings estimate revision of approximately 15.6% over the past 60 days. Its share price has risen 7.7% year to date. It currently carries a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here

Midland States currently carries a Zacks Rank #1. Over the past 60 days, its Zacks Consensus Estimate has revised 18.4% upward. Its share price has increased 13.97% year to date.

Horizon Bancorp carries a Zacks Rank #2. It witnessed an upward earnings estimate revision of 4.2% over the past 60 days while its share price is up 5.9% year to date.

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