First Busey Corp Stock Upgraded (BUSE)

Editor's Note: 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.

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- First Busey (Nasdaq: BUSE) has been upgraded by TheStreet Ratings from hold to buy. Among the primary strengths of the company is its expanding profit margins over time. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself.

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Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The gross profit margin for FIRST BUSEY CORP is currently very high, coming in at 81.20%. 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 10.90% trails the industry average.
  • Despite the weak revenue results, BUSE has outperformed against the industry average of 18.6%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 5.5%. The declining revenue appears to have seeped down to the company's bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • FIRST BUSEY CORP's earnings per share declined by 28.6% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. We feel it is likely to report a decline in earnings in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, FIRST BUSEY CORP increased its bottom line by earning $0.29 versus $0.27 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 23.8% in earnings ($0.22 versus $0.29).
  • Net operating cash flow has decreased to $13.81 million or 11.78% when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite a decrease in cash flow of 11.78%, FIRST BUSEY CORP is still significantly exceeding the industry average of -67.08%.
  • The share price of FIRST BUSEY CORP has not done very well: it is down 9.25% and has underperformed the S&P 500, in part reflecting the company's sharply declining earnings per share when compared to the year-earlier quarter. Despite the decline in its share price over the last year, this stock is still more expensive (when compared to its current earnings) than most other companies in its industry. We feel, however, that other strengths this company displays compensate for this.
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First Busey Corporation operates as the bank holding company for Busey Bank that provides retail and commercial banking products and services to individual, corporate, institutional, and governmental customers in the United States. The company has a P/E ratio of 18.7, above the average banking industry P/E ratio of 18 and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. First Busey has a market cap of $404.6 million and is part of the financial sector and banking industry. Shares are down 6.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

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

-- Written by a member of TheStreet Ratings Staff

Editor's Note: 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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