Royal Bank of Canada (RY), Canada's largest bank, continues to see an increase in net income as the global economy and credit conditions improve.

On Mar 3, the company reported first quarter 2010 results which met the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 96 cents.

Net income jumped 35% to $1.5 billion from $1.11 billion in the year ago quarter. It was also up 21% from the prior quarter.

All of its segments saw year over year improvement. Capital Markets saw the largest year over year gain, rising 154% to $571 million from $225 million.

"Once again, we benefited from the strength and diversity of our Capital Markets businesses," said Gordon Nixon, President and CEO.

"Compared to last quarter, we had stronger investment banking activity driven by improved equity and credit market conditions and while we experienced moderating trading revenue in our fixed income and money markets businesses, this was partially offset by higher trading in equities," he added.

Wealth management also saw a hefty gain, climbing 71% as market conditions improved significantly during that time. Canadian Banking, its largest segment, rose 12%.

Insurance grew 5%. International Banking continued to take a loss, declining $57 million but this was improvement from the year ago period when it lost $100 million.

Zacks Consensus Estimates Rise for Fiscal 2010

Given the strength in the first quarter, analysts moved to raise estimates for the fiscal year.

5 estimates moved higher in the last month and 1 moved lower, but the revisions pushed up the 2010 Zacks Consensus by 14 cents to $4.19 per share.

Analysts expect 29.76% earnings growth in fiscal 2010 and another 17.4% in fiscal 2011.

Value Fundamentals

Royal Bank of Canada is now a Zacks #2 Rank (buy) stock. The stock is trading at a similar valuation as it was when I last reviewed it in Sep 2009, at 14x forward earnings.

It has a price-to-book ratio of 2.37, well within the value stock parameters.

Royal Bank of Canada also pays a dividend, currently yielding 3.3%, which is above the industry average of 2.2%.

Read the Sep 29, 2009 article.

Update to Previous Value Zacks Rank Buy Stocks

The Children's Place Retail Stores, Inc. (PLCE) is opening stores at the same time it is controlling its inventories. PLCE is trading at 13.9x forward earnings. Read the full article.

China Integrated Energy, Inc. (CBEH) recently reported record results for the fourth quarter as oil product demand stayed strong in China. CBEH is cheap, with a forward P/E of just 8.9. Read the full article.

Del Monte Foods Company (DLM) extended its tremendous earnings surprise track record recently, when it beat for the 9th consecutive time. Read the full article.

IDACORP, Inc. (IDA), an Idaho utility, has surprised on the Zacks Consensus Estimate 3 out of the last 4 quarters by an average of 20.6%. Read the full article.

Tracey Ryniec is the Value Stock Strategist for She is also the Editor in charge of the market-beating Zacks Value Trader service.