Why CIT Group Inc. Stock Surged

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of CIT Group (NYSE: CIT  ) , a financial services company that primarily provides commercial financing and leasing products, surged as much as 14% after announcing an acquisition, initiating a stock buyback, and reporting its second-quarter earnings results.

So what: The biggest driver of CIT's share price was its announced $3.4 billion cash and stock purchase of OneWest Bank (formerly known as IndyMac). Under the terms of the deal, CIT will pay $2 billion in cash and 31.3 million in CIT common stock to acquire OneWest, which has 73 retail locations in Southern California. The deal is expected to add approximately 20% to CIT's bottom-line EPS by 2016, so investors appear to have given their signal of approval.

In addition to the deal, CIT also announced a stock repurchase agreement of up to $500 million, which would follow its repurchasing of $745 million worth of its shares in 2013. As noted in its early morning press release, CIT still has approximately $55 million remaining on its previous repurchase agreement.

Finally, CIT clobbered Wall Street's estimates in the second quarter, coming in with earnings from continuing operations of $1.02 per share compared to the Street's expectation of just $0.71 per share. Net charge-offs dropped to just 0.45% of average finance receivables from 0.63% in the year-ago quarter, while non-accrual loans (i.e., past-due loans, or loans in danger of going into default) dipped to $190 million from $279 million last year primarily because of the sale of its small-business lending portfolio.

Now what: There's no other way to describe this than a blowout quarter and a great day for CIT Group's shareholders. Based on Wall Street's current projections, CIT is forecast to earn $3.81 in 2015. Assuming OneWest does help CIT's EPS catapult higher by 20%, on top of its organic growth rate, there's the potential for nearly $5 in EPS by 2016. If that's the case, then CIT may still be trading cheaply even following Tuesday's pop higher. I'd suggest waiting for the single-day hype to die down a bit, but I'd recommend getting CIT Group on your watchlist and digging a bit deeper into this company.

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