Associated Banc-Corp Stock Upgraded (ASBC)

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Associated Banc-Corp (Nasdaq: ASBC) has been upgraded by TheStreet Ratings from hold to buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, revenue growth, expanding profit margins 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:
  • ASSOCIATED BANC-CORP reported significant earnings per share improvement 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, ASSOCIATED BANC-CORP turned its bottom line around by earning $0.67 versus -$0.18 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.95 versus $0.67).
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Commercial Banks industry. The net income increased by 86.5% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $22.85 million to $42.63 million.
  • Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 3.0%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 1.3%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • The gross profit margin for ASSOCIATED BANC-CORP is currently very high, coming in at 90.10%. It has increased significantly from the same period last year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 16.30% is above that of the industry average.
  • 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. When compared to other companies in the Commercial Banks industry and the overall market, ASSOCIATED BANC-CORP's return on equity is below that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
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Associated Banc-Corp, a bank holding company, offers various banking and financial services to individuals and businesses primarily in Wisconsin, Illinois, and Minnesota. Its Banking segment provides loans and deposit products to businesses, governments, and consumers. The company has a P/E ratio of 20.3, above the average banking industry P/E ratio of 20.1 and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Associated Banc-Corp has a market cap of $2.32 billion and is part of the financial sector and banking industry. Shares are up 20% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday.

You can view the full Associated Banc-Corp Ratings Report or get investment ideas from our investment research center.
-- Written by a member of TheStreet RatingsStaff
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