NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Fidelity Southern (Nasdaq: LION) has been upgraded by TheStreet Ratings from hold to buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, growth in earnings per share, expanding profit margins 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:
- LION's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 2.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 6.4%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
- FIDELITY SOUTHERN CORP has improved earnings per share by 17.8% 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. During the past fiscal year, FIDELITY SOUTHERN CORP increased its bottom line by earning $0.59 versus $0.56 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.74 versus $0.59).
- The gross profit margin for FIDELITY SOUTHERN CORP is currently very high, coming in at 73.90%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Despite the strong results of the gross profit margin, LION's net profit margin of 9.60% significantly trails the industry average.
- The company, on the basis of net income growth from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly underperformed compared to the Commercial Banks industry average, but is greater than that of the S&P 500. The net income increased by 28.2% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $2.99 million to $3.83 million.
- The company's current return on equity has slightly decreased from the same quarter one year prior. This implies a minor weakness in the organization. When compared to other companies in the Commercial Banks industry and the overall market, FIDELITY SOUTHERN CORP's return on equity is below that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.