Analyst Stephen Scouten at Sandler O'Neill has raised his rating on shares of Pinnacle Financial Partners to 'buy' from 'hold' after the bank holding company reported its second-quarter numbers. The move by Scouten is based on the valuation of Pinnacle, which is off about 10 percent from its recent highs (Ticker: PNFP) but is still up about 15 percent so far in 2014.
It looks like Nashville was kind to First Tennessee Bank in the second quarter. The bank's parent company, First Horizon National Corp., said its Middle Tennessee loan book grew by 8 percent in the three months ended June 30. That was double the company's overall growth rate.
Kevin Reynolds at Wunderlich Securities has raised his price target for shares of Pinnacle Financial Partners to $40 from $37 after the bank holding company reported its Q2 numbers. Reynolds says investors shouldn't put too much stock in the earnings beat because of a smaller loan loss provision, but he nonetheless likes Pinnacle's long-term prospects. Pinnacle shares (Ticker: PNFP) closed Thursday trading at $36.05 and are up 11 percent so far in 2014.
At Robert W. Baird, analyst Richard Eastman has hiked his rating on Clarcor shares to 'outperform' from 'neutral,' citing better fundamentals, the benefit of recent acquisitions and a decent valuation. He sees Clarcor (Ticker: CLC), which closed Thursday at $60.46, climbing to $67 in the coming quarters.
Private-equity firm Pharos Capital has sold Time Domain, a company that markets ultra wideband products, to a group led by two Birmingham-based peers. Pharos had assumed control of Time Domain four years ago when the company was struggling financially.
Zander Insurance Group has been awarded nearly $8 million in District Court, where it had accused a division of Indiana-based accounting firm Katz Sapper & Miller LLP of negligence, misrepresentation and breaching its fiduciary duty when it advised the local company during its conversion to an employee stock ownership plan. Katz Sapper & Miller's leaders plan to appeal the jury verdict to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.
The damages should help to offset the loss Zander incurred since there was no way to adjust the final sales price, Zander said. “I’m appreciative of the jury and the judge for the way it was handled,” he said. “It was a complicated case and they took the time to listen to the details the entire time.”
As the state’s budget year nears an end, tax collections are nearly $289.9 million in the hole following another month of revenues falling below expectations.
Revenues collected by the state for the last 11 months have largely come in below budget, leaving state government with a weak financial tax base struggling largely from an unexpected drop in business taxes.
“June collections recorded stronger than anticipated sales tax growth, but continued to reflect weaker than anticipated collections from the corporate sector,” state Finance and Administration Commissioner Larry Martin (pictured) said in a statement Friday. “We continue to believe the recent up-tick in retail activity is an indication of renewed consumer confidence, and an economy slowly on the mend.”
Sales taxes posted a $13.5 million gain in June, a figure that is 2.2 percent more than the state budgeted. Sales taxes make up the bulk of the state’s revenue used to support state departments and services. While sales tax collections are up nearly 3.6 percent year-to-date, sales taxes hover $15.5 million below expectations for the budget year.
But the big drop throughout the year has come from the state’s franchise and excise tax collections, which combined fell $54 million short of expectations last month, 14 percent below budget. Year-to-date, the state collections are $278 million less than expected.
Tax collections on tobacco, motor vehicle title and registration, business, inheritance and estate, privilege, gross receipts, severance taxes and alcoholic beverages all fell short of expectations in June, according to the state.
Taxes on income, gasoline, mixed drinks, motor vehicle fuel and coin-operated amusement were up in the last month, with marginal increases in tax collections on purchases of beer and petroleum.
In total, the state collected $5.3 million more last June than it did last month.
Year to date, the state has collected .1 percent more than it did last year, but leaving state coffers collectively below budgeted estimates by $289.9 million, or 2.6 percent.