Editor's Note: Any reference to TheStreet Ratings and its underlying recommendation does not reflect the opinion of TheStreet, Inc. or any of its contributors including Jim Cramer or Stephanie Link. NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Independent Bank Corp (Ionia MI (Nasdaq: IBCP) 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, notable return on equity and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.
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- Compared to its closing price of one year ago, IBCP's share price has jumped by 110.13%, exceeding the performance of the broader market during that same time frame. Regarding the stock's future course, although almost any stock can fall in a broad market decline, IBCP should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed a very nice gain in the past year.
- The company's current return on equity greatly increased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of significant strength within the corporation. Compared to other companies in the Commercial Banks industry and the overall market, INDEPENDENT BANK CORP/MI's return on equity significantly exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
- The gross profit margin for INDEPENDENT BANK CORP/MI is currently very high, coming in at 95.87%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 14.82% is above that of the industry average.
- IBCP, with its decline in revenue, slightly underperformed the industry average of 16.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues fell by 18.3%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
- INDEPENDENT BANK CORP/MI's earnings per share declined by 41.7% 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, INDEPENDENT BANK CORP/MI increased its bottom line by earning $3.29 versus $0.70 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 74.8% in earnings ($0.83 versus $3.29).