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First BanCorp Stock Downgraded (FBP)

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- First BanCorp (NYSE: FBP) has been downgraded by TheStreet Ratings from hold to sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its weak operating cash flow and generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from the ratings report include:

  • Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to $28.39 million or 53.82% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing to the industry average, the firm's growth rate is much lower.
  • FBP has underperformed the S&P 500 Index, declining 7.03% from its price level of one year ago. The fact that the stock is now selling for less than others in its industry in relation to its current earnings is not reason enough to justify a buy rating at this time.
  • FBP, with its decline in revenue, underperformed when compared the industry average of 3.0%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues fell by 17.0%. The declining revenue has not hurt the company's bottom line, with increasing earnings per share.
  • The company's current return on equity greatly increased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of significant strength within the corporation. Compared to other companies in the Commercial Banks industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, FIRST BANCORP P R has outperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500.
  • 41.60% is the gross profit margin for FIRST BANCORP P R which we consider to be strong. It has increased significantly from the same period last year. Regardless of the strong results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of -8.70% is in-line with the industry average.
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First BanCorp operates as the holding company for FirstBank Puerto Rico that provides a range of financial services and products to retail, commercial, and institutional clients primarily in Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and Florida. The company has a P/E ratio of 1.8, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. First BanCorp has a market cap of $718 million and is part of the financial sector and banking industry. Shares are up 13.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday.

You can view the full First BanCorp Ratings Report or get investment ideas from our investment research center.
-- Written by a member of TheStreet Ratings Staff

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