NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- West Coast Bancorp (Nasdaq: WCBO) has been upgraded by TheStreet Ratings from hold to buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, compelling growth in net income, expanding profit margins and impressive record of earnings per share growth. Although no company is perfect, currently we do not see any significant weaknesses which are likely to detract from the generally positive outlook.
- ACTIVE STOCK TRADERS: Check out TheStreet's special offer for Real Money, headlined by Jim Cramer, now!
- Looking at where the stock is today compared to one year ago, we find that it is not only higher, but it has also clearly outperformed the rise in the S&P 500 over the same period. Although other factors naturally played a role, the company's strong earnings growth was key. Looking ahead, unless broad bear market conditions prevail, we still see more upside potential for this stock, despite the fact that it has already risen over the past year.
- 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 30.2% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $4.63 million to $6.03 million.
- The gross profit margin for WEST COAST BANCORP/OR is currently very high, coming in at 98.20%. It has increased significantly from the same period last year. Regardless of the strong results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of 19.30% trails the industry average.
- Despite the weak revenue results, WCBO has outperformed against the industry average of 30.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 5.5%. The declining revenue has not hurt the company's bottom line, with increasing earnings per share.
- WEST COAST BANCORP/OR has improved earnings per share by 27.3% 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, WEST COAST BANCORP/OR increased its bottom line by earning $1.59 versus $0.15 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 35.2% in earnings ($1.03 versus $1.59).
-- Written by a member of TheStreet Ratings Staff