NEW YORK (

TheStreet

)

-- BancFirst Corporation

(Nasdaq:

BANF

) 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 good cash flow from operations. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that the stock has experienced relatively poor performance when compared with the S&P 500 during the past year.

Highlights from the ratings report include:

  • In its most recent trading session, BANF has closed at a price level that was not very different from its closing price of one year earlier. This is probably due to its weak earnings growth as well as other mixed factors. Looking ahead, our view is that this company's fundamentals will not have much impact in either direction, allowing the stock to generally move up or down based on the push and pull of the broad market.
  • The company, on the basis of net income growth from the same quarter one year ago, has underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500 and greatly underperformed compared to the Commercial Banks industry average. The net income increased by 22.1% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $9.30 million to $11.36 million.
  • 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. Compared to other companies in the Commercial Banks industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, BANCFIRST CORP/OK has outperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500.
  • BANCFIRST CORP/OK has improved earnings per share by 20.0% 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 year. We feel that this trend should continue. This trend suggests that the performance of the business is improving. During the past fiscal year, BANCFIRST CORP/OK increased its bottom line by earning $2.71 versus $2.09 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.98 versus $2.71).
  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 3.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 8.4%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.

BancFirst Corporation operates as the holding company for BancFirst, which provides a range of commercial banking products and services to retail customers and small to medium-sized businesses in Oklahoma. The company has a P/E ratio of 14.1, equal to the average banking industry P/E ratio and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. BancFirst has a market cap of $609.9 million and is part of the

financial

sector and

banking

industry. Shares are down 6.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday.

You can view the full

BancFirst Ratings Report

or get investment ideas from our

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