Earnings Preview: Astoria Financial

Jan.28.09 | About: Astoria Financial (AF)

Astoria Financial Corp. (NYSE:AF) is expected to report Q4 earnings after the market close on Wednesday, January 28 with a conference call scheduled for January 29 at 10:00 am ET.


Analysts are looking for EPS of 45c on revenue of $137.81M. The consensus range for EPS is 41c to 53c, while the consensus range for revenue is $136.84M to $138.60M, according to First Call.

Analyst Views

Astoria Financial reached a 52-week closing low of $10.79 on Monday and the stock closed at $10.85 yesterday. The shares closed at $16.44 on January 6. Astoria may not have a good chance to rally on its earnings, since several regional banks, including Zions Bancorp (NASDAQ:ZION), Marshall & Ilsley (NYSE:MI), and Regions Financial (NYSE:RF) have reported weaker than expected Q4 EPS. The regional banks have had to take higher allowances for loan losses as more of their loans become delinquent.

At the end of December, Friedman Billings reiterated its Underperform rating on the shares. The firm, which cited declining home prices and the deteriorating regional economy for its rating, believes fiscal 2009 consensus estimates for Astoria do not adequately reflect loan losses in the company's residential loan portfolio. On a positive note, J.P. Morgan upgraded Astoria on January 2 to Neutral from Underweight, citing valuation.