Story updated at 9:55 a.m. to reflect market activity.
Zions gained 0.3% to $29.52 in morning trading.
The analyst firm said the upgrade was due to a valuation call based on a $30 price target for the bank.
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Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates ZIONS BANCORPORATION as a Buy with a ratings score of B+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:
"We rate ZIONS BANCORPORATION (ZION) a BUY. This is driven by a few notable strengths, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its impressive record of earnings per share growth, increase in net income, attractive valuation levels and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity."
Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:
- ZIONS BANCORPORATION 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. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, ZIONS BANCORPORATION increased its bottom line by earning $1.58 versus $0.97 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.85 versus $1.58).
- 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 44.0% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $83.03 million to $119.55 million.
- The gross profit margin for ZIONS BANCORPORATION is currently very high, coming in at 101.28%. 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 20.33% trails the industry average.
- ZION, with its decline in revenue, slightly underperformed the industry average of 4.6%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 4.9%. The declining revenue has not hurt the company's bottom line, with increasing earnings per share.
- You can view the full analysis from the report here: ZION Ratings Report
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.