NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Brookline Bancorp (Nasdaq: BRKL) has been downgraded by TheStreet Ratings from buy to hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, growth in earnings per share and expanding profit margins. 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:
  • BRKL has underperformed the S&P 500 Index, declining 12.76% 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.
  • The company, on the basis of net income growth from the same quarter one year ago, has underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500 and greatly underperformed compared to the Thrifts & Mortgage Finance industry average. The net income increased by 14.4% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $6.35 million to $7.27 million.
  • 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. Compared to other companies in the Thrifts & Mortgage Finance industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, BROOKLINE BANCORP INC has outperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500.
  • BROOKLINE BANCORP INC has improved earnings per share by 9.1% 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. This trend suggests that the performance of the business is improving. During the past fiscal year, BROOKLINE BANCORP INC increased its bottom line by earning $0.46 versus $0.33 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.53 versus $0.46).
  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 20.1%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 2.9%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.

Brookline Bancorp, Inc. operates as the bank holding company for Brookline Bank, which provides various banking products and services. The company has a P/E ratio of 19.2, equal to the average banking industry P/E ratio and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 16.7. Brookline has a market cap of $533.4 million and is part of the financial sector and banking industry. Shares are down 17.4% year to date as of the previous trading day's close.

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