NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Westfield Financial (Nasdaq: WFD) has been upgraded by TheStreet Ratings from hold to buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its increase in net income, expanding profit margins, impressive record of earnings per share growth 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 net income growth 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 increased by 14.2% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $1.34 million to $1.53 million.
- The gross profit margin for WESTFIELD FINANCIAL INC is rather high; currently it is at 66.30%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 12.70% is above that of the industry average.
- Despite the weak revenue results, WFD has outperformed against the industry average of 24.7%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 0.3%. The declining revenue has not hurt the company's bottom line, with increasing earnings per share.
- WESTFIELD FINANCIAL INC has improved earnings per share by 20.0% 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. However, we anticipate underperformance relative to this pattern in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, WESTFIELD FINANCIAL INC increased its bottom line by earning $0.23 versus $0.12 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 4.3% in earnings ($0.22 versus $0.23).
- 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 Thrifts & Mortgage Finance industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, WESTFIELD 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