NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Bridge Bancorp (Nasdaq: BDGE) has been downgraded by TheStreet Ratings from buy to hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its growth in earnings per share, revenue growth and expanding profit margins. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself, premium valuation and disappointing return on equity.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • BRIDGE BANCORP INC has improved earnings per share by 5.5% 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, BRIDGE BANCORP INC increased its bottom line by earning $1.46 versus $1.43 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.52 versus $1.46).
  • Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 16.5%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 9.0%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • BDGE has underperformed the S&P 500 Index, declining 15.52% from its price level of one year ago. Looking ahead, we do not see anything in this company's numbers that would change the one-year trend. It was down over the last twelve months; and it could be down again in the next twelve. Naturally, a bull or bear market could sway the movement of this stock.

Bridge Bancorp, Inc. operates as the holding company for The Bridgehampton National Bank that provides a range of commercial and consumer banking services in eastern Long Island, New York. The company has a P/E ratio of 13.5, above the average banking industry P/E ratio of 13.3 and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Bridge has a market cap of $133.4 million and is part of the financial sector and banking industry. Shares are down 21.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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