The return on equity has improved slightly when compared with the same quarter year over year. This can be construed as a modest strength in the organization. FirstMerit's ROE exceeds that of both the commercial banks industry average and the S&P 500. The gross profit margin for FirstMerit is rather high, currently at 66%. It has increased from the same quarter year over year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 15.8% is above that of the industry average. Net operating cash flow has slightly increased to $30.51 million, or 2.49% when compared year over year. Despite an increase in cash flow of 2.49%, FirstMerit is still growing at a significantly lower rate than the industry average of 318.86%. FistMerit's earnings per share from the most-recent quarter came in slightly below the year-earlier quarter. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. We feel it is likely to report a decline in earnings in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, FirstMerit increased its bottom line by earning $1.53 vs. $1.18 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 2.9% in earnings ($1.49 vs. $1.53). FirstMerit, with its decline in revenue, underperformed when compared with the industry average of 15.3%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues fell by 11.4%. The declining revenue appears to have seeped down to the company's bottom line, decreasing EPS. FirstMerit had been rated a hold as of July 1, 2008.