NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- GFI Group (NYSE: GFIG) has been upgraded by TheStreet Ratings from hold to buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income and notable return on equity. 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 revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 7.3%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 26.3%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • GFI GROUP 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, GFI GROUP INC increased its bottom line by earning $0.20 versus $0.13 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.32 versus $0.20).
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Capital Markets industry. The net income increased by 344.0% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from -$2.49 million to $6.07 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. When compared to other companies in the Capital Markets industry and the overall market, GFI GROUP INC's return on equity is below that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • The gross profit margin for GFI GROUP INC is currently extremely low, coming in at 9.00%. Regardless of GFIG's low profit margin, it has managed to increase from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of 2.30% trails the industry average.

GFI Group Inc. provides wholesale brokerage, clearing, electronic execution, and trading support products for financial markets in the United States and internationally. The company has a P/E ratio of 39.7, above the average financial services industry P/E ratio of 39.6 and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. GFI Group has a market cap of $528.8 million and is part of the financial sector and financial services industry. Shares are up 4.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday.

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