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Pinnacle Financial (PNFP) Hits Fresh High: Is There Still Room to Run?

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Have you been paying attention to shares of Pinnacle Financial Partners (PNFP)? Shares have been on the move with the stock up 4.4% over the past month. The stock hit a new 52-week high of $61.72 in the previous session. Pinnacle Financial Partners has gained 33.2% since the start of the year compared to the 18.1% move for the Zacks Finance sector and the 22.5% return for the Zacks Banks - Southeast industry.

What's Driving the Outperformance?

The stock has an impressive record of positive earnings surprises, as it hasn't missed our earnings consensus estimate in any of the last four quarters. In its last earnings report on October 15, 2019, Pinnacle Financial reported EPS of $1.44 versus consensus estimate of $1.34 while it beat the consensus revenue estimate by 4.35%.

For the current fiscal year, Pinnacle Financial is expected to post earnings of $5.35 per share on $1.05 billion in revenues. This represents a 12.87% change in EPS on a 12.04% change in revenues. For the next fiscal year, the company is expected to earn $5.45 per share on $1.12 billion in revenues. This represents a year-over-year change of 1.86% and 7.02%, respectively.

Valuation Metrics

Pinnacle Financial may be at a 52-week high right now, but what might the future hold for the stock? A key aspect of this question is taking a look at valuation metrics in order to determine if the company has run ahead of itself.

On this front, we can look at the Zacks Style Scores, as these give investors a variety of ways to comb through stocks (beyond looking at the Zacks Rank of a security). These styles are represented by grades running from A to F in the categories of Value, Growth, and Momentum, while there is a combined VGM Score as well. Investors should consider the style scores a valuable tool that can help you to pick the most appropriate Zacks Rank stocks based on their individual investment style.

Pinnacle Financial has a Value Score of B. The stock's Growth and Momentum Scores are C and C, respectively, giving the company a VGM Score of B.

In terms of its value breakdown, the stock currently trades at 11.5X current fiscal year EPS estimates. On a trailing cash flow basis, the stock currently trades at 13.2X versus its peer group's average of 12X. Additionally, the stock has a PEG ratio of 0.72. This isn't enough to put the company in the top echelon of all stocks we cover from a value perspective.

Zacks Rank

We also need to consider the stock's Zacks Rank, as this supersedes any trend on the style score front. Fortunately, Pinnacle Financial currently has a Zacks Rank of #2 (Buy) thanks to rising earnings estimates.

Since we recommend that investors select stocks carrying Zacks Rank of 1 (Strong Buy) or 2 (Buy) and Style Scores of A or B, it looks as if Pinnacle Financial meets the list of requirements. Thus, it seems as though Pinnacle Financial shares could have potential in the weeks and months to come.

How Does Pinnacle Financial Stack Up to the Competition?

Shares of Pinnacle Financial have been rising, and the company still appears to be a decent choice, but what about the rest of the industry? Some of its industry peers are also looking good, including Bay Banks of Virginia (BAYK), First BanCorp. (FBP), and First Horizon National (FHN - Free Report) , all of which currently have a Zacks Rank of at least #2 and a VGM Score of at least B, making them well-rounded choices.

However, it is worth noting that the Zacks Industry Rank for this group is in the bottom half of the ranking, so it isn't all good news for Pinnacle Financial. Still, the fundamentals for Pinnacle Financial are promising, and it still has potential despite being at a 52-week high.

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