It seems to be a wise idea to add Fulton Financial Corporation (FULT - Free Report) stock to your portfolio now amid the coronavirus crisis, given its underlying strength and solid growth prospects. Moreover, the company’s steady capital-deployment activities reflect a strong balance-sheet position.
Further, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for the current-year and next-year earnings has moved 8.5% and 5.3% upward over the past 30 days, respectively, reflecting analysts’ optimism regarding its earnings growth potential. Thus, the stock currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
Shares of Fulton Financial have lost 44.1% in the past six months compared with the industry's fall of 37.9%.
Factors That Make Fulton Financial a Solid Pick
Earnings Growth: Over the past three to five years, Fulton Financial has recorded earnings growth of 11.8% compared with the industry’s average of 12.5%. Though 2020 earnings are expected to plunge 63.3%, the same is projected to surge 95.3% in 2021.
Moreover, this earnings momentum is likely to continue in the near term, as reflected by the company’s impressive earnings surprise history.
Its earnings surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate in three of the trailing four quarters while it missed in one, the average positive surprise being 70.2%.
Revenue Strength: Fulton Financial has witnessed a rise in net revenues over the last three years. Total revenues are projected to grow at a rate of 2.6% in 2020 (compared with the nil industry average). This upward trend is anticipated to be supported by a decent lending scenario.
Steady Capital-Deployment Activities: The company remains committed toward enhancing shareholder value. In 2019, the board authorized the repurchase of up to $100 million of its common stock. Further, the bank has been actively paying common stock dividends for years, with the latest hike made in 2019.
Stock seems undervalued: With respect to the price/cash flow and price-to-book ratios, Fulton Financial seems undervalued. It has a P/CF ratio of 5.95 and a P/B ratio of 0.70, both of which are below the respective industry averages of 7.59 and 0.81.
Other Stocks to Consider
Mercantile Bank Corp. (MBWM - Free Report) has witnessed an upward earnings estimate revision of 5.5% for 2020 over the past 30 days. Its shares have lost 35% over the past year. At present, it sports a Zacks Rank of 1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.
BrightSphere Investment Group Inc. (BSIG - Free Report) recorded an upward earnings estimate revision of 2.2% for the current year over the past 30 days. Its shares have appreciated 2.6% over the past year. It currently flaunts a Zacks Rank of 1.
Atlantic Capital Bancshares, Inc. (ACBI - Free Report) has witnessed 2.7% upward earnings estimate revision for the ongoing year in the past 30 days. This Zacks #2 Ranked stock has depreciated 35.6% over the past year.
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