NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Landmark Bancorp (Nasdaq: LARK) has been upgraded by TheStreet Ratings from hold to buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its compelling growth in net income, expanding profit margins, notable return on equity, increase in stock price during the past year and impressive record of earnings per share growth. Although no company is perfect, currently we do not see any significant weaknesses which are likely to detract from the generally positive outlook. Highlights from the ratings report include:
- The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Commercial Banks industry. The net income increased by 168.9% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from -$1.05 million to $0.72 million.
- The gross profit margin for LANDMARK BANCORP INC/KS is currently very high, coming in at 76.10%. It has increased significantly from the same period last year. Regardless of the strong results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of 9.20% trails the industry average.
- 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 Commercial Banks industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, LANDMARK BANCORP INC/KS has outperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500.
- After a year of stock price fluctuations, the net result is that LARK's price has not changed very much. Although its weak earnings growth may have played a role in this flat result, don't lose sight of the fact that the performance of the overall market, as measured by the S&P 500 Index, was essentially similar. Looking ahead, unless broad bear market conditions prevail, we still see more upside potential for this stock, despite the fact that it has already risen over the past year.
- LANDMARK BANCORP INC/KS reported significant earnings per share improvement in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. This company has not demonstrated a clear trend in earnings over the past two years, making it difficult to accurately predict earnings for the coming year. During the past fiscal year, LANDMARK BANCORP INC/KS reported lower earnings of $0.78 versus $1.25 in the prior year.