Zacks Investment Ideas feature highlights: Bank of Ireland, CRH and Fly Leasing

   Zacks Investment Ideas feature highlights: Bank of Ireland, CRH and Fly
                                   Leasing

PR Newswire

CHICAGO, March 14, 2014

CHICAGO, March 14, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --Today, Zacks Investment Ideas feature
highlights Features: Bank of Ireland (NYSE:IRE-Free Report), CRH PLC
(NYSE:CRH-Free Report) and Fly Leasing (NYSE:FLY-Free Report).

Zacks Investment Research, Inc., www.zacks.com

3 Stocks for St. Patty's Day

With March 17 right around the corner, I thought it would be a good idea to
take a look at 3 stocks that come from Ireland. These stocks all trade on the
NYSE, so domestic investors could look to these names to add international
exposure.

Wearing of the Green

If you are looking for green in your portfolio, one place to look to invest
are the professionals that handle the green. By green I mean money, and one
opportunity when looking at investing in Irish stocks is Bank of Ireland
(NYSE:IRE-Free Report).

Bank of Ireland is off to a great start this year, with the ADR up about 38%
year to date. At $15B its no small cap and on par with Cleveland Ohio based
KeyCorp. The stock is also pretty liquid with 850K shares traded on the
average day.

Right now, the stock is a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold), and has seen consistent
decreases in the underlying loss before taxes. The first half of 2012 saw a
loss of 933 million Euros, and that was cut to 566 million Euros in the second
half of 2012. The loss was further reduced to 383 million euros through the
first half of 2013 and was halved again to 186 million Euros for the second
half of 2013.

The bank has 11,500 post office branches and 2,400 ATM's servicing the 1.6
million consumer customers and 600K wealth management customers.

If you are looking for a resurrection of the Celtic Tiger, this is going to be
the stock for you. The recent underlying strength in Europe means that IRE is
likely to continue to benefit.

No Blarney in This Stone

To kiss the Blarney Stone will give that person the "gift of gab" which is to
say they will have a way with words. The stone is located in the Blarney
Castle about five miles away from Cork Ireland.

If there would be a company to build the Castle today, CRH PLC (NYSE:CRH-Free
Report) would be the one. Well for the purposes of this Irish inspired article
they would anyway.

CRH PLC is a supplier of building materials primarily in Western Europe and
North America. The company produces and sells a range of primary materials,
including cement, aggregates, ready-mixed concrete, asphalt/bitumen, and
agricultural and chemical lime.

Year to date, this stock has built up a gain of 11%, which is good but
investors also recently benefited from a $0.60 dividend so you can add on
about 3% to that gain.

Over the last year or so, CRH has held a Zacks Rank of between #3 (Hold) and
#5 (Strong Sell). The Rank changes when analysts move their earnings
estimates. So over the last 12 months or so, there haven't been too many
increases to estimates.

December was a strong month for the company as Citigroup upgraded their
recommendation from Sell to Neutral on the stock. Later that same month saw
Bank of America Merrill Lynch upgrade the stock as well. They moved their
rating to Neutral from Under-perform.

Pot O'Gold

They say if you catch a Leprechaun, the "mythical" creature will be forced to
tell you where his pot of gold is. Recent horror movies suggest that won't
exactly happen and old fables mirror that as the supernatural being will do
everything it can to trick you.

Another Irish saying is that there is a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow,
and I know from experience it's hard to run to one end (or the other) of a
rainbow. Instead, you might want to employ the services on another Irish
company to help you on that adventure.

Fly Leasing (NYSE:FLY-Free Report) is a Dublin Ireland based company that is
leases commercial jet aircraft. I figured that a jet might help you chase the
rainbow a little better than just running after it.

The world of commercial aviation is a difficult one where demand for new
airplanes outweighs supply. Often times smaller airlines are forced to use the
services of companies like FLY as they look add new aircraft as the bigger
carriers buy up most of the new production. Another benefit of leasing is not
carrying a large asset on the books and this improving ROI.

Over the last five quarters, FLY has posted four beats and one meet, which is
a great record for any company. Revenue, however has been seeing a lot of
weakens of late as the most recent report on March 6 saw revenue decrease from
$131M a year ago to $85M for the most recent quarter.

As I started writing this article, FLY was a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold), but has
slipped to a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell) as the estimates have fallen for the stock.
The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2014 has kicked lower from $1.22, where it
stood from November through February, to $1.13 in March.

The 2015 Zacks Consensus Estimate has also seen a move lower, and this one is
a bigger move. The estimate was at $2.13 as of February, but is now down to
$1.75. Those sort of downward earnings estimate revisions are the foundation
of the move lower in the Zacks Rank.

Investors might be wise to just use the jets to chase rainbows before
investing in this stock. However, a move higher in estimates could signal that
the skies are clearing for this stock and there would be no need to chase
Leprechaun's or rainbows if that is the case.

Conclusion

Investing in Irish stocks makes for a great pre St. Patrick's Day article.
Finding good Irish stocks can be challenging and while international
diversification helps investors, waiting to see estimates turn higher is a key
strategy to employ.

St. Patrick's Day is right around the corner, we at Zacks hope you enjoy the
parades and have a safe holiday.

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