NEW YORK (

TheStreet

)

-- BBCN Bancorp

(Nasdaq:

BBCN

) has been upgraded by TheStreet Ratings from hold to buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, expanding profit margins and solid stock price performance. Although no company is perfect, currently we do not see any significant weaknesses which are likely to detract from the generally positive outlook.

Highlights from the ratings report include:

  • BBCN's very impressive revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 0.7%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues leaped by 92.3%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • BBCN BANCORP INC 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. During the past fiscal year, BBCN BANCORP INC turned its bottom line around by earning $0.57 versus -$0.31 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.81 versus $0.57).
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Commercial Banks industry. The net income increased by 254.8% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $6.75 million to $23.93 million.
  • The gross profit margin for BBCN BANCORP INC is currently very high, coming in at 87.20%. It has increased significantly from the same period last year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 29.80% significantly outperformed against the industry average.
  • Looking at where the stock is today compared to one year ago, we find that it is not only higher, but it has also clearly outperformed the rise in the S&P 500 over the same period. Although other factors naturally played a role, the company's strong earnings growth was key. The stock's price rise over the last year has driven it to a level which is somewhat expensive compared to the rest of its industry. We feel, however, that other strengths this company displays justify these higher price levels.

.

BBCN Bancorp, Inc. operates as a bank holding company for BBCN Bank that provides business banking products to small- and medium-sized companies. The company specializes in commercial real estate and business lending, SBA lending, and international trade financing. The company has a P/E ratio of 19.3, equal to the average banking industry P/E ratio and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. BBCN has a market cap of $797.9 million and is part of the

financial

sector and

banking

industry. Shares are up 8.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

You can view the full

BBCN Ratings Report

or get investment ideas from our

investment research center

.

-- Written by a member of TheStreet RatingsStaff

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