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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of First Niagara Financial (FNFG) are up 0.29% to $10.23 on heavy trading volume midday Friday after the company reported higher-than-anticipated earnings for the 2016 second quarter.

Before today's market open, the Buffalo, NY-based bank holding company reported operating earnings of 18 cents per diluted share, above analysts' estimates of 15 cents per share.

Revenue for the period was $330.7 million, below analysts' estimates of $356.1 million.

"Our second quarter performance is more evidence of the strength of our lending and deposit franchises," CEO Gary Crosby said in a statement.

"During the second quarter, our core businesses continued to demonstrate positive momentum, with 5% year-over-year growth in average commercial loans and 6% growth in average transactional deposit balances," he added.

Last October, KeyCorp (KEY) said it would acquire First Niagara for about $4.1 billion. The company expects to close the deal in early August.

About 3.84 million of First Niagra's shares were traded so far today vs. its average volume 2.89 million.

Separately, TheStreet Ratings Team has a "Buy" rating with a score of B on the stock.

The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, good cash flow from operations, reasonable valuation levels, expanding profit margins and solid stock price performance.

The team believes its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

Recently, TheStreet Ratings objectively rated this stock according to its "risk-adjusted" total return prospect over a 12-month investment horizon. Not based on the news in any given day, the rating may differ from Jim Cramer's view or that of this articles's author.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: FNFG

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