NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- First Financial Northwest (Nasdaq: FFNW) has been upgraded by TheStreet Ratings from sell to hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its compelling growth in net income, expanding profit margins and impressive record of earnings per share growth. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that the stock has had a generally disappointing performance in the past year.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • FFNW has underperformed the S&P 500 Index, declining 17.36% from its price level of one year ago. The fact that the stock is now selling for less than others in its industry in relation to its current earnings is not reason enough to justify a buy rating at this time.
  • Current return on equity exceeded its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a clear sign of strength within the company. Compared to other companies in the Thrifts & Mortgage Finance industry and the overall market, FIRST FINANCIAL NORTHWEST's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • FFNW, with its decline in revenue, slightly underperformed the industry average of 5.2%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 8.9%. The declining revenue has not hurt the company's bottom line, with increasing earnings per share.
  • The gross profit margin for FIRST FINANCIAL NORTHWEST is rather high; currently it is at 56.00%. It has increased significantly from the same period last year.
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Thrifts & Mortgage Finance industry. The net income increased by 108.1% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from -$17.75 million to $1.43 million.

First Financial Northwest, Inc. operates as the holding company for First Savings Bank Northwest that provides community-based savings bank services in Washington. First Financial Northwest has a market cap of $113 million and is part of the financial sector and banking industry. Shares are up 40.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday.

You can view the full First Financial Northwest Ratings Report or get investment ideas from our investment research center.
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