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Is Now the Prime Time to Buy Canadian Western Bank?

Canadian Western Bank (TSX:CWB), one of Canada’s 10 largest banks in terms of total assets, announced second-quarter earnings results on the morning on June 5, and its stock has responded by making a slight move to the upside. Let’s take a closer look at the results to determine if we should consider initiating long-term positions today, or if we should wait for a better entry point in the trading sessions ahead.

Breaking down the second-quarter results 

Here’s a summary of CWB’s second-quarter earnings results compared with its results in the same period a year ago. All results are from combined operations.

Metric Q2 2015 Q2 2014
Adjusted Cash Earnings Per Share $0.68 $0.65
Total Revenue $159.91 million $153.52 million

Source: Canadian Western Bank

CWB’s adjusted cash earnings per share increased 4.6% and its total revenue increased 4.2% compared with the second quarter of fiscal 2014. The company’s strong earnings-per-share growth can be attributed to its adjusted common shareholders’ net income increasing 4.5% to $54.58 million. Its solid revenue growth can be attributed to its net interest income increasing 9% to $134.89 million, but this growth was largely offset by its non-interest income decreasing 16% to $25.02 million.

Here’s a quick breakdown of six other notable statistics from the report compared with the year-ago period:

  1. Total assets increased 9.7% to $21.52 billion
  2. Total loans increased 11.1% to $18.56 billion
  3. Total deposits increased 7.9% to $17.98 billion
  4. Total assets under management increased 8.4% to $1.91 billion
  5. Efficiency ratio expanded 230 basis points to 48.3%
  6. Book value per share increased 9% to $20.19

CWB also announced a 4.8% increase to its quarterly dividend to $0.22 per share, and the next payment will come on June 25 to shareholders of record at the close of business on June 15.

Should you buy in to the rally?

The second quarter was very successful for Canadian Western Bank, so I think the slight post-earnings pop in its stock is warranted. I also think this could be the start of a sustained rally higher because the stock still trades at attractive forward valuations, and because the company has shown a strong dedication to maximizing shareholder value through the payment of dividends.

First, CWB’s stock trades at just 10.7 times fiscal 2015’s estimated earnings per share of $2.67 and only 10 times fiscal 2016’s estimated earnings per share of $2.85, both of which are very inexpensive compared with its five-year average price-to-earnings multiple of 13.7 and the industry average multiple of 13.4. It also trades at a mere 1.41 times its book value per share of $20.19, which is very inexpensive compared with its market-to-book value of 2.01 at the conclusion of the year-ago period.

Second, CWB now pays an annual dividend of $0.88 per share, which gives its stock a 3.1% yield at today’s levels. The company has also increased its dividend 19 times since 2004, making it one of the top dividend-growth plays in the financial sector today.

With all of the information provided above in mind, I think Foolish investors should strongly consider beginning to scale in to long-term positions in Canadian Western Bank today.

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This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium service or advisor. We’re Motley! Questioning an investing thesis — even one of our own — helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer, so we sometimes publish articles that may not be in line with recommendations, rankings or other content.

Fool contributor Joseph Solitro has no position in any stocks mentioned.

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