North Valley Bancorp Stock Downgraded (NOVB)

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) -- North Valley Bancorp (Nasdaq: NOVB) has been downgraded by TheStreet Ratings from buy to hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, compelling growth in net income and expanding profit margins. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that we feel that the company's cash flow from its operations has been weak overall.

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Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 9.9%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 2.8%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • 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 162.7% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $0.48 million to $1.26 million.
  • Powered by its strong earnings growth of 157.14% and other important driving factors, this stock has surged by 31.15% over the past year, outperforming the rise in the S&P 500 Index during the same period. Setting our sights on the months ahead, however, we feel that the stock's sharp appreciation over the last year has driven it to a price level which is now relatively expensive compared to the rest of its industry. The implication is that its reduced upside potential is not good enough to warrant further investment at this time.
  • 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. When compared to other companies in the Commercial Banks industry and the overall market, NORTH VALLEY BANCORP's return on equity is below that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to -$0.46 million or 129.19% 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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North Valley Bancorp operates as a bank holding company North Valley Bank that provides commercial and retail banking services to businesses and middle income individuals in California. The company has a P/E ratio of 16.6, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. North Valley has a market cap of $116.5 million and is part of the financial sector and banking industry. Shares are up 19.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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

-- Written by a member of TheStreet Ratings Staff

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