NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- MutualFirst Financial (Nasdaq: MFSF) 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 and expanding profit margins. 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 28.1%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 5.7%. This growth in revenue does not appear to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, displayed by a decline in earnings per share.
- The gross profit margin for MUTUALFIRST FINANCIAL INC is rather high; currently it is at 57.20%. Regardless of MFSF's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, MFSF's net profit margin of 5.20% compares favorably to the industry average.
- MUTUALFIRST FINANCIAL INC's earnings per share declined by 50.0% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has suffered a declining pattern of earnings per share over the past year. However, we anticipate this trend reversing over the coming year. During the past fiscal year, MUTUALFIRST FINANCIAL INC reported lower earnings of $0.20 versus $0.69 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.78 versus $0.20).
- The change in net income from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the Thrifts & Mortgage Finance industry average, but is less than that of the S&P 500. The net income has significantly decreased by 42.2% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $1.81 million to $1.05 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. Compared to other companies in the Thrifts & Mortgage Finance industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, MUTUALFIRST FINANCIAL INC underperformed against that of the industry average and is significantly less than that of the S&P 500.
-- Written by a member of TheStreet RatingsStaff