NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Northfield Bancorp (Nasdaq: NFBK) has been upgraded by TheStreet Ratings from hold to buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, impressive record of earnings per share growth, good cash flow from operations, expanding profit margins and compelling growth in net income. 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 company, on the basis of net income growth from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly underperformed compared to the Commercial Banks industry average, but is greater than that of the S&P 500. The net income increased by 47.0% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $3.38 million to $4.97 million.
  • The gross profit margin for NORTHFIELD BANCORP INC is rather high; currently it is at 69.80%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Despite the strong results of the gross profit margin, NFBK's net profit margin of 19.80% significantly trails the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $7.28 million or 17.54% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, NORTHFIELD BANCORP INC has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of -97.32%.
  • NORTHFIELD BANCORP INC 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 year. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, NORTHFIELD BANCORP INC increased its bottom line by earning $0.33 versus $0.29 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.39 versus $0.33).
  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 3.2%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 10.4%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.

Northfield Bancorp, Inc. operates as the holding company for Northfield Bank that provides banking services primarily to individuals and corporate customers in Richmond and Kings Counties in New York, and Union and Middlesex Counties in New Jersey. The company has a P/E ratio of 36.8, equal to the average banking industry P/E ratio and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Northfield has a market cap of $579.6 million and is part of the financial sector and banking industry. Shares are up 2.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

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