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 revenue growth, expanding profit margins, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income 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 revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 19.6%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 8.2%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
- The gross profit margin for WESTFIELD FINANCIAL INC is currently very high, coming in at 73.50%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 17.60% is above that of the industry average.
- WESTFIELD FINANCIAL INC 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. 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. This year, the market expects earnings to be in line with last year ($0.23 versus $0.23).
- The company, on the basis of net income growth from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly underperformed compared to the Thrifts & Mortgage Finance industry average, but is greater than that of the S&P 500. The net income increased by 81.9% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $1.29 million to $2.34 million.
- 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