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Stephens provides 2019 banking industry outlook

Terry McEvoy of Stephens Inc. expects that the concerns of investors regarding peak profitability will be a recurring theme in 2019 considering different revenue constraints.

McEvoy's EPS growth estimates for banks under research coverage are 31.7% for 2018, 7.7% for 2019 and 6.4% for 2020.

Cincinnati-based Fifth Third Bancorp and San Francisco-based First Republic Bank were the top picks for the large-cap category. In the midcap growth category, New York-based Signature Bank and Phoenix-based Western Alliance Bancorp. were the top picks.

Tulsa, Okla.-based BOK Financial Corp. and Rosemont, Ill.-based Wintrust Financial Corp. were the top picks for the midcap value category.

The top picks for the small-cap growth category were Moultrie, Ga.-based Ameris Bancorp, McKinney, Texas-based Independent Bank Group Inc., Dallas-based Veritex Holdings Inc. and Wilmington, Del.-based WSFS Financial Corp.

Winter Haven, Fla.-based CenterState Bank Corp., Ruston, La.-based Origin Bancorp Inc. and Olney, Md.-based Sandy Spring Bancorp Inc. were the top picks for the small-cap value category.

The analyst expects the net interest margins to reach their peak in 2019 due to the pressure on deposit costs and noninterest-bearing outflows. The volume of mergers is expected to be low, while the deal values are expected to be larger.