Westfield Financial Inc. Stock Upgraded (WFD)

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, impressive record of earnings per share growth, expanding profit margins, notable return on equity and compelling growth in net income. 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 greatly exceeded the industry average of 22.6%. 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.
  • 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. We feel that this trend should continue. 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 an improvement in earnings ($0.25 versus $0.23).
  • 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. Regardless of the strong results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of 17.60% trails 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. Compared to other companies in the Thrifts & Mortgage Finance industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, WESTFIELD FINANCIAL INC has outperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500.
  • 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.

Westfield Financial, Inc. operates as a bank holding company for the Westfield Bank that provides various community banking products and services to businesses and individuals in Massachusetts. The company has a P/E ratio of 28.5, above the average banking industry P/E ratio of 27.4 and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Westfield Financial has a market cap of $196.9 million and is part of the financial sector and banking industry. Shares are up 0.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday.

You can view the full Westfield Financial Ratings Report or get investment ideas from our investment research center.

-- Written by a member of TheStreet Ratings Staff

TheStreet ratings do not represent the views of TheStreet's staff or its contributors. Ratings are established by computer based on metrics for performance (which includes growth, stock performance, efficiency and valuation) and risk (volatility and solvency). Companies with poor cash flow or high debt levels tend to earn lower ratings in our model.
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