Editor's Note: Any reference to TheStreet Ratings and its underlying recommendation does not reflect the opinion of TheStreet, Inc. or any of its contributors including Jim Cramer or Stephanie Link

.

NEW YORK (

TheStreet

)

-- Guaranty Bancorp

(Nasdaq:

GBNK

) has been upgraded by TheStreet Ratings from hold to buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, increase in net income, expanding profit margins, solid stock price performance and growth in earnings per share. Although the company may harbor some minor weaknesses, we feel they are unlikely to have a significant impact on results.

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Highlights from the ratings report include:

  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 12.7%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 6.2%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • 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 55.9% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $2.27 million to $3.54 million.
  • The gross profit margin for GUARANTY BANCORP is currently very high, coming in at 92.49%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 16.45% is above that of the industry average.
  • Powered by its strong earnings growth of 70.00% and other important driving factors, this stock has surged by 31.78% 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.
  • GUARANTY BANCORP reported significant earnings per share improvement 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, GUARANTY BANCORP reported lower earnings of $0.65 versus $0.70 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.76 versus $0.65).

Guaranty Bancorp operates as the bank holding company for Guaranty Bank and Trust Company that provides various banking products and services to consumers, and small to medium-sized businesses. Guaranty has a market cap of $272.6 million and is part of the financial sector and banking industry. Shares are down 5.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday.

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