Sterling Bancshares (Nasdaq: SBIB) hasn't been able to establish an earnings trend, bouncing between beating and falling short of estimates during the past fiscal year. The company will unveil its latest earnings on Tuesday, July 19. Sterling Bancshares provides an array of consumer and commercial banking services, such as demand, savings, and time deposits; commercial, real estate, and consumer loans; merchant credit card services; and letters of credit.

What analysts say:

  • Buy, sell, or hold?: Analysts think investors should stand pat on Sterling Bancshares, with nine of 10 analysts rating it a hold. Analysts don't like Sterling Bancshares as much as competitor Bank of the Ozarks overall. Five out of 10 analysts rate Bank of the Ozarks a buy, compared with one of 10 for Sterling Bancshares. Analysts still rate the stock a hold, but they are a bit more wary about it compared with three months ago.
  • Revenue forecasts: On average, analysts predict $49.8 million in revenue this quarter. That would represent a decline of 3% from the year-ago quarter.
  • Wall Street earnings expectations: The average analyst estimate is earnings of $0.02 per share. Estimates range from breaking even to a profit of $0.03.

What our community says:
CAPS All-Stars are solidly behind the stock with 85.7% giving it an "outperform" rating. The community at large backs the All-Stars, with 90.5% granting it a rating of "outperform." Fools are gung-ho about Sterling Bancshares, though the message boards have been quiet lately, with only 21 posts in the past 30 days. Despite the majority sentiment in favor of Sterling Bancshares, the stock has a middling CAPS rating of three out of five stars.

Sterling Bancshares' income has fallen year over year by an average of 69.9%. Revenue has fallen for the past three quarters.

Now let's look at how efficient management is at running the business. Traditionally, margins represent the efficiency with which companies capture portions of sales dollars. The following table shows net margins over the past four quarters. 

Quarter Q1 Q4 Q3 Q2
Net Margin (0.7%) 3.4% 7.3% 1%
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