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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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Sean Williams

A Fool since 2010, and a graduate from UC San Diego with a B.A. in Economics, Sean specializes in the healthcare sector and in investment planning topics. You'll usually find him writing about Obamacare, marijuana, developing drugs, diagnostics, and medical devices, Social Security, taxes, or any number of other macroeconomic issues.

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Related Tickers

8/27/2015 4:03 PM
CIT $43.79 Up +0.79 +1.84%
CIT Group, Inc. CAPS Rating: ***