NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Midsouth Bancorp (AMEX: MSL) 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 came in higher than the industry average of 1.1%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 15.3%. 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 MIDSOUTH BANCORP INC is currently very high, coming in at 87.40%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Regardless of the strong results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of 7.10% trails the industry average.
- MIDSOUTH BANCORP INC's earnings per share declined by 43.8% 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 two years. However, we anticipate this trend to reverse over the coming year. During the past fiscal year, MIDSOUTH BANCORP INC reported lower earnings of $0.27 versus $0.47 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.96 versus $0.27).
- The change in net income from the same quarter one year ago has exceeded that of the Commercial Banks industry average, but is less than that of the S&P 500. The net income has significantly decreased by 31.1% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $1.86 million to $1.28 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 Commercial Banks industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, MIDSOUTH BANCORP 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