ESSA Bancorp Inc Stock Upgraded (ESSA)

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) -- ESSA Bancorp (Nasdaq: ESSA) has been upgraded by TheStreet Ratings from sell to hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, expanding profit margins and increase in stock price during the past year. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity and weak operating cash flow.

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Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • ESSA's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 5.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 7.5%. This growth in revenue does not appear to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, displayed by a decline in earnings per share.
  • The gross profit margin for ESSA BANCORP INC is rather high; currently it is at 68.30%. 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 -14.29% is in-line with the industry average.
  • Compared to where it was 12 months ago, the stock is up, but it has so far lagged the appreciation in the S&P 500. We feel that the combination of its price rise over the last year and its current price-to-earnings ratio relative to its industry tend to reduce its upside potential.
  • The company's current return on equity has slightly decreased from the same quarter one year prior. This implies a minor weakness in the organization. Compared to other companies in the Thrifts & Mortgage Finance industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, ESSA BANCORP INC underperformed against that of the industry average and is significantly less than that of the S&P 500.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to -$4.18 million or 229.65% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing to the industry average, the firm's growth rate is much lower.
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ESSA Bancorp, Inc. operates as the holding company for ESSA Bank & Trust that provides a range of financial services to individuals, families, and businesses in Pennsylvania. The company has a P/E ratio of 540, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. ESSA has a market cap of $142.9 million and is part of the financial sector and banking industry. Shares are down 0.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

You can view the full ESSA 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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