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) -- Regions Financial Corporation (NYSE: RF) 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, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, attractive valuation levels and expanding profit margins. Although no company is perfect, currently we do not see any significant weaknesses which are likely to detract from the generally positive outlook.
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- Powered by its strong earnings growth of 272.72% and other important driving factors, this stock has surged by 46.65% over the past year, outperforming the rise in the S&P 500 Index during the same period. Regarding the stock's future course, although almost any stock can fall in a broad market decline, RF should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed a very nice gain in the past year.
- REGIONS FINANCIAL CORP 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, REGIONS FINANCIAL CORP turned its bottom line around by earning $0.75 versus -$0.02 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.80 versus $0.75).
- 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 148.3% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from -$548.00 million to $265.00 million.
- The gross profit margin for REGIONS FINANCIAL CORP is currently very high, coming in at 88.80%. 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 17.85% trails the industry average.
-- Written by a member of TheStreet Ratings Staff