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.

The Banking industry as a whole closed the day down 0.3% versus the S&P 500, which was down 0.1%. Laggards within the Banking industry included First Financial Service ( FFKY), down 3.2%, Colony Bankcorp ( CBAN), down 3.4%, Jacksonville Bancorp ( JAXB), down 2.3%, Cordia Bancorp ( BVA), down 1.8% and Northeast Community Bancorp ( NECB), down 2.1%.

TheStreet Ratings Group would like to highlight 3 stocks that pushed the industry lower today:

Community Bank System ( CBU) is one of the companies that pushed the Banking industry lower today. Community Bank System was down $0.89 (2.4%) to $35.78 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 228,454 shares of Community Bank System exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 141,700 shares. The stock ranged in price between $35.51-$36.47 after having opened the day at $36.28 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $36.67.

Community Bank System, Inc. operates as the bank holding company for Community Bank, N.A. that provides banking and financial services to retail, commercial, and municipal customers. Community Bank System has a market cap of $1.5 billion and is part of the financial sector. Shares are down 9.2% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there is 1 analyst who rates Community Bank System a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 5 rate it a hold.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Community Bank System as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its good cash flow from operations, growth in earnings per share, expanding profit margins, solid stock price performance and increase in net income. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on CBU go as follows:

  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $26.71 million or 24.10% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, COMMUNITY BANK SYSTEM INC has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of -45.55%.
  • COMMUNITY BANK SYSTEM INC has improved earnings per share by 8.0% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. Stable earnings per share over the past year indicate the company has sound management over its earnings and share float. We anticipate these figures will begin to experience more growth in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, COMMUNITY BANK SYSTEM INC's EPS of $1.94 remained unchanged from the prior years' EPS of $1.94. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.18 versus $1.94).
  • The gross profit margin for COMMUNITY BANK SYSTEM INC is currently very high, coming in at 95.49%. 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 24.20% trails the industry average.
  • The stock has not only risen over the past year, it has done so at a faster pace than the S&P 500, reflecting the earnings growth and other positive factors similar to those we have cited here. Looking ahead, the stock's rise over the last year has already helped drive it to a level which is relatively expensive compared to the rest of its industry. We feel, however, that the other strengths this company displays justify these higher price levels.
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has exceeded that of the Commercial Banks industry average, but is less than that of the S&P 500. The net income increased by 9.5% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $20.24 million to $22.17 million.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: Community Bank System Ratings Report

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At the close, Colony Bankcorp ( CBAN) was down $0.21 (3.4%) to $6.02 on average volume. Throughout the day, 4,768 shares of Colony Bankcorp exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3,300 shares. The stock ranged in price between $6.00-$6.12 after having opened the day at $6.00 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $6.23.

Colony Bankcorp, Inc. operates as a bank holding company for Colony Bank that provides banking services to its retail and commercial customers. It accepts various deposit products, including demand, savings, and time deposits. Colony Bankcorp has a market cap of $50.7 million and is part of the financial sector. Shares are down 1.4% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Colony Bankcorp as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, attractive valuation levels, expanding profit margins and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on CBAN go as follows:

  • COLONY BANKCORP INC has improved earnings per share by 42.9% 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. During the past fiscal year, COLONY BANKCORP INC increased its bottom line by earning $0.37 versus $0.14 in the prior year.
  • 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 55.5% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $0.94 million to $1.46 million.
  • The gross profit margin for COLONY BANKCORP INC is currently very high, coming in at 83.97%. It has increased significantly from the same period last year. Despite the strong results of the gross profit margin, CBAN's net profit margin of 11.19% significantly trails the industry average.
  • CBAN, with its decline in revenue, slightly underperformed the industry average of 2.2%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 2.7%. The declining revenue has not hurt the company's bottom line, with increasing earnings per share.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: Colony Bankcorp Ratings Report

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First Financial Service ( FFKY) was another company that pushed the Banking industry lower today. First Financial Service was down $0.12 (3.2%) to $3.58 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 15,849 shares of First Financial Service exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 4,300 shares. The stock ranged in price between $3.51-$3.65 after having opened the day at $3.65 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $3.70.

First Financial Service Corporation operates as the bank holding company for First Federal Savings Bank of Elizabethtown that provides various personal and corporate banking services and personal investment financial counseling services. First Financial Service has a market cap of $19.0 million and is part of the financial sector. Shares are down 24.6% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are no analysts who rate First Financial Service a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 1 rates it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates First Financial Service as a sell. The area that we feel has been the company's primary weakness has been its feeble growth in its earnings per share.

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Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on FFKY go as follows:

  • 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 on the basis of return on equity, FIRST FINANCIAL SERVICE CORP underperformed against that of the industry average and is significantly less than that of the S&P 500.
  • FIRST FINANCIAL SERVICE 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. However, we anticipate underperformance relative to this pattern in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, FIRST FINANCIAL SERVICE CORP continued to lose money by earning -$0.06 versus -$1.98 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 400.0% in earnings (-$0.30 versus -$0.06).
  • FFKY, with its decline in revenue, underperformed when compared the industry average of 2.2%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues fell by 14.6%. The declining revenue has not hurt the company's bottom line, with increasing earnings per share.
  • The gross profit margin for FIRST FINANCIAL SERVICE CORP is currently very high, coming in at 98.04%. It has increased significantly from the same period last year. Despite the strong results of the gross profit margin, FFKY's net profit margin of 3.08% significantly trails the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 91.26% to -$0.22 million when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, FIRST FINANCIAL SERVICE CORP has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of -45.55%.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: First Financial Service Ratings Report

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.