NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- NBT Bancorp Inc (Nasdaq: NBTB) has been upgraded by TheStreet Ratings from hold to buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its growth in earnings per share, expanding profit margins, good cash flow from operations, notable return on equity 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:
- N B T BANCORP INC has improved earnings per share by 7.1% 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, N B T BANCORP INC increased its bottom line by earning $1.67 versus $1.54 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.72 versus $1.67).
- The gross profit margin for N B T BANCORP INC is currently very high, coming in at 81.80%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Despite the strong results of the gross profit margin, NBTB's net profit margin of 19.00% significantly trails the industry average.
- Net operating cash flow has slightly increased to $24.44 million or 1.87% when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite an increase in cash flow of 1.87%, N B T BANCORP INC is still growing at a significantly lower rate than the industry average of 315.67%.
- 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, N B T BANCORP INC has outperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500.
- NBTB, with its decline in revenue, slightly underperformed the industry average of 2.6%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 5.1%. The declining revenue has not hurt the company's bottom line, with increasing earnings per share.