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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- CIT Group (CIT) - Get CIT Group Inc. Report has been downgraded by TheStreet Ratings from Hold to Sell with a ratings score of D+.  TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate CIT GROUP INC (CIT) a SELL. This is driven by a few notable weaknesses, which we believe should have a greater impact than any strengths, and could make it more difficult for investors to achieve positive results compared to most of the stocks we cover. Among the areas we feel are negative, one of the most important has been a generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself."

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Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • In its most recent trading session, CIT 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. Turning toward the future, the fact that the stock has come down in price over the past year should not necessarily be interpreted as a negative; it could be one of the factors that may help make the stock attractive down the road. Right now, however, we believe that it is too soon to buy.
  • CIT GROUP 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. However, we anticipate underperformance relative to this pattern in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, CIT GROUP INC increased its bottom line by earning $5.73 versus $3.19 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 39.8% in earnings ($3.45 versus $5.73).
  • The gross profit margin for CIT GROUP INC is rather high; currently it is at 69.82%. Regardless of CIT's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, CIT's net profit margin of 24.69% compares favorably to 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. Compared to other companies in the Commercial Banks industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, CIT GROUP INC has outperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500.
  • 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 93.2% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $129.90 million to $251.00 million.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: CIT Ratings Report

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