NEW YORK (

TheStreet

)

-- Trico

(Nasdaq:

TCBK

) has been upgraded by TheStreet Ratings from hold to buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its compelling growth in net income, expanding profit margins, impressive record of earnings per share growth 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 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. When compared to other companies in the Commercial Banks industry and the overall market, TRICO BANCSHARES's return on equity is below that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • TCBK, with its decline in revenue, slightly underperformed the industry average of 0.6%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 2.8%. The declining revenue has not hurt the company's bottom line, with increasing earnings per share.
  • TRICO BANCSHARES 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, TRICO BANCSHARES reported lower earnings of $0.38 versus $0.62 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.57 versus $0.38).
  • The gross profit margin for TRICO BANCSHARES is currently very high, coming in at 74.70%. It has increased significantly from the same period last year. Despite the strong results of the gross profit margin, TCBK's net profit margin of 8.50% significantly trails the industry average.
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has greatly exceeded that of the S&P 500, but is less than that of the Commercial Banks industry average. The net income increased by 109.9% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $1.32 million to $2.77 million.

TriCo Bancshares operates as the bank holding company for Tri Counties Bank that provides commercial banking services primarily to retail customers and small to medium-sized businesses in California. It accepts demand, savings, and time deposits. The company has a P/E ratio of 34.3, equal to the average banking industry P/E ratio and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Trico has a market cap of $240.5 million and is part of the

financial

sector and

banking

industry. Shares are down 9.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

You can view the full

Trico Ratings Report

or get investment ideas from our

investment research center

.

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