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Associated Banc-Corp Stock Downgraded (ASBC)

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Associated Banc-Corp (Nasdaq: ASBC) has been downgraded by TheStreet Ratings from buy to hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, impressive record of earnings per share growth and compelling growth in net income. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself and weak operating cash flow.

Highlights from the ratings report include:

  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 9.1%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 1.3%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • ASSOCIATED BANC-CORP reported significant earnings per share improvement in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past two years. We feel that this trend should continue. This trend suggests that the performance of the business is improving. During the past fiscal year, ASSOCIATED BANC-CORP turned its bottom line around by earning $0.67 versus -$0.18 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.95 versus $0.67).
  • Net operating cash flow has decreased to $111.77 million or 43.34% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing to the industry average, the firm's growth rate is much lower.
  • ASBC has underperformed the S&P 500 Index, declining 8.95% from its price level of one year ago. Looking ahead, we do not see anything in this company's numbers that would change the one-year trend. It was down over the last twelve months; and it could be down again in the next twelve. Naturally, a bull or bear market could sway the movement of this stock.
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Associated Banc-Corp, a bank holding company, offers various banking and financial services to individuals and businesses primarily in Wisconsin, Illinois, and Minnesota. Its Banking segment provides loans and deposit products to businesses, governments, and consumers. The company has a P/E ratio of 16.2, above the average banking industry P/E ratio of 16 and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Associated Banc-Corp has a market cap of $2.29 billion and is part of the financial sector and banking industry. Shares are up 15.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

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

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