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AmeriServ Financial Inc. Stock Downgraded (ASRV)

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- AmeriServ Financial (Nasdaq: ASRV) 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, solid stock price performance and impressive record of earnings per share growth. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that we feel that the company's cash flow from its operations has been weak overall.

Highlights from the ratings report include:

  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 24.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 0.7%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • Investors have apparently begun to recognize positive factors similar to those we have mentioned in this report, including earnings growth. This has helped drive up the company's shares by a sharp 56.35% over the past year, a rise that has exceeded that of the S&P 500 Index. Although ASRV had significant growth over the past year, our hold rating indicates that we do not recommend additional investment in this stock at the current time.
  • The gross profit margin for AMERISERV FINANCIAL INC/PA is currently very high, coming in at 89.60%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Despite the strong results of the gross profit margin, ASRV's net profit margin of 11.30% significantly trails the industry average.
  • The return on equity has improved slightly when compared to the same quarter one year prior. This can be construed as a modest strength in the organization. When compared to other companies in the Commercial Banks industry and the overall market, AMERISERV FINANCIAL INC/PA's return on equity is below that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to $4.50 million or 63.15% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing to the industry average, the firm's growth rate is much lower.

AmeriServ Financial, Inc. operates as the bank holding company for AmeriServ Financial Bank that provides a range of consumer, mortgage, and commercial financial products and services. The company has a P/E ratio of 11.4, above the average banking industry P/E ratio of 10.9 and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. AmeriServ Financial has a market cap of $55.2 million and is part of the financial sector and banking industry. Shares are up 45.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

You can view the full AmeriServ Financial Ratings Report or get investment ideas from our investment research center.

-- Written by a member of TheStreet Ratings Staff

TheStreet ratings do not represent the views of TheStreet's staff or its contributors. Ratings are established by computer based on metrics for performance (which includes growth, stock performance, efficiency and valuation) and risk (volatility and solvency). Companies with poor cash flow or high debt levels tend to earn lower ratings in our model.

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