NEW YORK (

TheStreet

)

-- Wintrust Financial

(Nasdaq:

WTFC

) has been upgraded by TheStreet Ratings from hold to buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its increase in net income, expanding profit margins and growth in earnings per share. 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 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 50.3% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $20.10 million to $30.20 million.
  • The gross profit margin for WINTRUST FINANCIAL CORP is rather high; currently it is at 66.20%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 15.50% is above that of the industry average.
  • WINTRUST FINANCIAL CORP has improved earnings per share by 38.3% 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, WINTRUST FINANCIAL CORP reported lower earnings of $1.07 versus $2.09 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.55 versus $1.07).
  • WTFC, with its decline in revenue, underperformed when compared the industry average of 22.1%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 0.3%. The declining revenue has not hurt the company's bottom line, with increasing earnings per share.
  • The company's current return on equity has slightly decreased from the same quarter one year prior. This implies a minor weakness in the organization. Compared to other companies in the Commercial Banks industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, WINTRUST FINANCIAL CORP underperformed against that of the industry average and is significantly less than that of the S&P 500.

Wintrust Financial Corporation, through its subsidiaries, engages in community banking, specialty finance, and wealth management operations. The company has a P/E ratio of 30.3, equal to the average banking industry P/E ratio and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Wintrust Financial has a market cap of $1 billion and is part of the

financial

sector and

banking

industry. Shares are down 12.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

You can view the full

Wintrust Financial Ratings Report

or get investment ideas from our

investment research center

.

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