NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of National Bank of Greece (NBG) rose 11.67% to $1.34 in afternoon trading today with Greek markets up as German Chancellor Angela Merkel opened the door to some early payments of Greece's remaining bailout funds, a concession that shows how much the eurozone wants to fend off an accidental default, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The Global X FTSE Greece 20 ETF (GREK) - Get Report, designed to reflect broad based equity market performance in Greece, was up 5.81% to $10.75.

Merkel said that once a complete list of reforms has been signed off by eurozone finance ministers, the country's creditors could set out some "prior actions," or measures that need to be implemented to get new funding, according to the Journal.

The conciliatory note over efforts to keep Greece in the euro zone boosted the region's currency, making oil more attractive. The euro to U.S. dollar rose 1.3%. Brent rose 1.64% to $55.32 at 12:11 p.m. in New York, while WTI was up 4.89% to $46.11.

Additionally, Greece's prime minister Alexis Tsipras maintained that there is no problem of short-term liquidity for the Greek economy.

"Our obligations to the citizens and the European institutions will be met, while bank deposits are secure," he said, according to live updates from The Guardian, citing Reuters as a source at a press conference given after the Euro summit today in Brussels.

Tsipras reportedly called on Greek citizens to be calm and noted that "we will not be overcome by the atmosphere of insecurity." The recession measures are over, Tsipras repeated.

Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates NATIONAL BANK OF GREECE as a Sell with a ratings score of D. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate NATIONAL BANK OF GREECE (NBG) a SELL. This is driven by several weaknesses, which we believe should have a greater impact than any strengths, and could make it more difficult for investors to achieve positive results compared to most of the stocks we cover. Among the areas we feel are negative, one of the most important has been a generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • NBG's stock share price has done very poorly compared to where it was a year ago: Despite any rallies, the net result is that it is down by 77.41%, which is also worse that the performance of the S&P 500 Index. Investors have so far failed to pay much attention to the earnings improvements the company has managed to achieve over the last quarter. Naturally, the overall market trend is bound to be a significant factor. However, in one sense, the stock's sharp decline last year is a positive for future investors, making it cheaper (in proportion to its earnings over the past year) than most other stocks in its industry. But due to other concerns, we feel the stock is still not a good buy right now.
  • NATIONAL BANK OF GREECE 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. However, we anticipate underperformance relative to this pattern in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, NATIONAL BANK OF GREECE turned its bottom line around by earning $1.98 versus -$27.80 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 71.7% in earnings ($0.56 versus $1.98).
  • NBG, with its decline in revenue, underperformed when compared the industry average of 2.3%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues fell by 30.3%. The declining revenue has not hurt the company's bottom line, with increasing earnings per share.
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to -$344.49 million or 38.74% when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite an increase in cash flow of 38.74%, NATIONAL BANK OF GREECE is still growing at a significantly lower rate than the industry average of 296.61%.
  • 36.50% is the gross profit margin for NATIONAL BANK OF GREECE which we consider to be strong. 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 -5.49% is in-line with the industry average.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: NBG Ratings Report

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