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.

NBT Bancorp Inc., a financial holding company, provides commercial banking and financial services to individuals, corporations, and municipalities in central and upstate New York, northeastern Pennsylvania, and the greater Burlington, Vermont area. The company has a P/E ratio of 12.7, equal to the average banking industry P/E ratio and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. NBT has a market cap of $715.1 million and is part of the financial sector and banking industry. Shares are down 10.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

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

If you liked this article you might like

The Road Ahead: All Eyes on Energy and Earnings

The Road Ahead: All Eyes on Energy and Earnings

The Jonas Effect: What to Expect in Post-Blizzard Week Ahead

The Jonas Effect: What to Expect in Post-Blizzard Week Ahead

'Fast Money' Recap: Google and Amazon Lead the Way

'Fast Money' Recap: Google and Amazon Lead the Way

A Grim Future for Small Banks

A Grim Future for Small Banks

5 Bank Stocks That Can't Stop Posting Profits

5 Bank Stocks That Can't Stop Posting Profits