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NEW YORK (

TheStreet

)

-- Citizens Community Bancorp

(Nasdaq:

CZWI

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

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Highlights from the ratings report include:

  • CITIZENS COMMUNITY BANCORP 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. During the past fiscal year, CITIZENS COMMUNITY BANCORP increased its bottom line by earning $0.20 versus $0.04 in the prior year.
  • The revenue growth significantly trails the industry average of 119.0%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 3.3%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • The gross profit margin for CITIZENS COMMUNITY BANCORP is currently very high, coming in at 71.53%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Despite the strong results of the gross profit margin, CZWI's net profit margin of 4.09% significantly trails the industry average.
  • Powered by its strong earnings growth of 50.00% and other important driving factors, this stock has surged by 32.98% over the past year, outperforming the rise in the S&P 500 Index during the same period. We feel that the stock's sharp appreciation over the last year has driven it to a price level which is now somewhat expensive compared to the rest of its industry. The other strengths this company shows, however, justify the higher price levels.
  • 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 Thrifts & Mortgage Finance industry and the overall market, CITIZENS COMMUNITY BANCORP's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.

Citizens Community Bancorp, Inc. operates as the holding company for Citizens Community Federal that provides various consumer banking products and services primarily in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Michigan. Citizens Community has a market cap of $38.6 million and is part of the financial sector and banking industry. Shares are up 24.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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