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NEW YORK (

TheStreet

)

-- Glacier Bancorp Inc

(Nasdaq:

GBCI

) has been downgraded by TheStreet Ratings from buy to hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its expanding profit margins and notable return on equity. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself and unimpressive growth in net income.

Highlights from the ratings report include:

  • GLACIER BANCORP INC's earnings per share declined by 10.5% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. But, we feel it is poised for EPS growth in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, GLACIER BANCORP INC increased its bottom line by earning $0.61 versus $0.55 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.70 versus $0.61).
  • The gross profit margin for GLACIER BANCORP INC is rather high; currently it is at 65.90%. Regardless of GBCI's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, GBCI's net profit margin of 13.30% compares favorably to the industry average.
  • GBCI, with its decline in revenue, underperformed when compared the industry average of 20.9%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 6.1%. The declining revenue appears to have seeped down to the company's bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • The company, on the basis of change in net income from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500 and the Commercial Banks industry. The net income has decreased by 10.1% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, dropping from $13.22 million to $11.89 million.
  • Looking at the price performance of GBCI's shares over the past 12 months, there is not much good news to report: the stock is down 30.06%, and it has underformed the S&P 500 Index. In addition, the company's earnings per share are lower today than the year-earlier quarter. Although its share price is down sharply from a year ago, do not assume that it can now be tagged as cheap and attractive. The reality is that, based on its current price in relation to its earnings, GBCI is still more expensive than most of the other companies in its industry.

Glacier Bancorp, Inc., a multi-bank holding company, provides commercial banking products and services in Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, and Washington. The company has a P/E ratio of 21.8, equal to the average banking industry P/E ratio and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Glacier has a market cap of $892.5 million and is part of the

TheStreet Recommends

financial

sector and

banking

industry. Shares are down 26.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

You can view the full

Glacier Ratings Report

or get investment ideas from our

investment research center

.

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