NEW YORK (

TheStreet

)

-- Independent Bank

(Nasdaq:

INDB

) 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, growth in earnings per share, increase in net income, expanding profit margins and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from the ratings report include:

  • The revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 30.2%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 0.2%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • INDEPENDENT BANK CORP/MA has improved earnings per share by 7.7% 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. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, INDEPENDENT BANK CORP/MA increased its bottom line by earning $2.12 versus $1.91 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.17 versus $2.12).
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has exceeded that of the S&P 500 and greatly outperformed compared to the Commercial Banks industry average. The net income increased by 8.9% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $11.19 million to $12.18 million.
  • The gross profit margin for INDEPENDENT BANK CORP/MA is currently very high, coming in at 87.80%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Regardless of the strong results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of 19.70% trails 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, INDEPENDENT BANK CORP/MA has outperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500.

.

Independent Bank Corp. operates as the bank holding company for Rockland Trust Company that provides commercial banking services in Massachusetts. Its deposit products include demand deposits, interest checking accounts, money market accounts, savings accounts, and time certificates of deposit. The company has a P/E ratio of 12.9, equal to the average banking industry P/E ratio and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Independent has a market cap of $601.5 million and is part of the

financial

sector and

banking

industry. Shares are up 0.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

You can view the full

Independent Ratings Report

or get investment ideas from our

investment research center

.

-- Written by a member of TheStreet Ratings Staff

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