NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- First Interstate Bancsystem (Nasdaq: FIBK) 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, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, expanding profit margins and solid stock price performance. Although no company is perfect, currently we do not see any significant weaknesses which are likely to detract from the generally positive outlook. Highlights from the ratings report include:
- FIBK's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 0.7%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 1.5%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
- FIRST INTERSTATE BANCSYSTEM has improved earnings per share by 30.0% 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 two years. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, FIRST INTERSTATE BANCSYSTEM increased its bottom line by earning $0.96 versus $0.79 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.06 versus $0.96).
- 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 28.5% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $9.51 million to $12.21 million.
- The gross profit margin for FIRST INTERSTATE BANCSYSTEM is currently very high, coming in at 79.40%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 12.80% is above that of the industry average.
- Compared to where it was a year ago today, the stock is now trading at a higher level, reflecting both the market's overall trend during that period and the fact that the company's earnings growth has been robust. Looking ahead, the stock's rise over the last year has already helped drive it to a level which is relatively expensive compared to the rest of its industry. We feel, however, that the other strengths this company displays justify these higher price levels.
-- Written by a member of TheStreet RatingsStaff