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5 Reasons to Add First Financial (FFIN) to Your Portfolio

First Financial Bankshares FFIN seems to be an attractive pick now on the back of its top-line strength and solid balance sheet position. Further, its earnings growth prospects and efforts to enhance shareholder value are encouraging.

Shares of First Financial have gained 8.4% over the past six months outperforming the industry’s rally of 5.2%.

Further, it has been successful in gaining analysts’ confidence in terms of future earnings. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings was revised 1.2% upward, over the past 60 days. As a result, the stock carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

Key Driving Forces

Revenue Strength: First Financial has been witnessing consistent improvement in revenues. Over the past five years (ended 2016), total revenues recorded a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.2%. Moreover, its revenues are projected to grow 13.7% in 2017.

Impressive Balance Sheet Growth: The company’s loans and deposits have witnessed a CAGR of 12.8% and 10.8%, respectively, over a five-year period (ended 2016). This keeps First Financial well poised for any opportunistic acquisitions in the future.

Steady Capital Deployment Activities: The company remains committed to enhancing its shareholder value. In March 2017, it raised its quarterly dividend by 5.6% to 19 cents per share. Also, it renewed its stock repurchase program of up to 2 million shares for a three-year period.

Earnings per Share Growth: First Financial has recorded an earnings growth rate of 8.4% over the last three to five years compared with 5.6% of the industry it belongs to.

Further, this earnings momentum is likely to continue in the near term as reflected by the company’s projected earnings per share growth rate of 7.2% and 7.6% in 2017 and 2018, respectively.

Superior Return on Equity: First Financial has a return on equity of 12.41% compared with the industry average of 10.22%. This reflects the company’s superiority in utilizing shareholders’ funds.

Other Stocks to Consider

Old Second Bancorp’s OSBC Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings was revised 3.5% upward for 2017, in the past 60 days. Also, its share price has increased 45.8% in the past 12 months. The stock carries a Zacks Rank of 2. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Lakeland Financial Corporation LKFN currently carries a Zacks Rank of 2. The stock’s current-year earnings estimates were revised 4.4% upward, over the past 60 days. Further, the company’s shares have jumped 27.6% in a year’s time.

FB Financial Corporation’s FBK Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings was revised 2.7% upward, over the last 60 days. Moreover, in the past year, its shares have gained 73.2%. Also, it carries a Zacks Rank of 2.

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Old Second Bancorp, Inc. (OSBC): Free Stock Analysis Report
Lakeland Financial Corporation (LKFN): Free Stock Analysis Report
FB Financial Corporation (FBK): Free Stock Analysis Report
First Financial Bankshares, Inc. (FFIN): Free Stock Analysis Report
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