NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- 1st Constitution Bancorp (Nasdaq: FCCY) 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 increase 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 when compared to that of the S&P 500 and the Commercial Banks industry. The net income increased by 13.0% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $0.70 million to $0.79 million.
  • The gross profit margin for 1ST CONSTITUTION BANCORP is currently very high, coming in at 72.70%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Despite the strong results of the gross profit margin, FCCY's net profit margin of 9.90% significantly trails the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 195.52% to $16.89 million when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, 1ST CONSTITUTION BANCORP has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of 43.46%.
  • 1ST CONSTITUTION BANCORP has improved earnings per share by 40.0% 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, 1ST CONSTITUTION BANCORP increased its bottom line by earning $0.48 versus $0.39 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.80 versus $0.48).
  • FCCY's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 0.1%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 2.0%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.

1st Constitution Bancorp operates as the holding company for 1st Constitution Bank that provides community banking services to corporations, individuals, partnerships, and other community organizations in the central and northeastern New Jersey area. The company has a P/E ratio of 14.9, above the average banking industry P/E ratio of 14.8 and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. 1st Constitution has a market cap of $37.9 million and is part of the financial sector and banking industry. Shares are down 9.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday.

You can view the full 1st Constitution Ratings Report or get investment ideas from our investment research center.
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