Will This Coverage Initiation Affect Berkshire Hills Bancorp (BHLB) Stock Today?

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Jefferies initiated coverage on Berkshire Hills Bancorp  (BHLB) with a "hold" rating and a $25 price target. The firm said the company has potential for double-digit loan growth but EPS growth is limited by NIM headwinds holding top-line growth.

The stock closed at $23.39 on Thursday.

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Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates BERKSHIRE HILLS BANCORP INC as a "buy" with a ratings score of B-. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate BERKSHIRE HILLS BANCORP INC (BHLB) a BUY. This is driven by a number of strengths, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its reasonable valuation levels and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • The gross profit margin for BERKSHIRE HILLS BANCORP INC is currently very high, coming in at 83.46%. 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 -1.75% is in-line with the industry average.
  • BERKSHIRE HILLS BANCORP INC has experienced a steep decline in earnings per share in the most recent quarter in comparison to its performance from the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. But, we feel it is poised for EPS growth in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, BERKSHIRE HILLS BANCORP INC increased its bottom line by earning $1.65 versus $1.52 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.67 versus $1.65).
  • BHLB, with its decline in revenue, slightly underperformed the industry average of 0.0%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 4.1%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • Net operating cash flow has decreased to $17.02 million or 23.63% when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite a decrease in cash flow BERKSHIRE HILLS BANCORP INC is still fairing well by exceeding its industry average cash flow growth rate of -38.64%.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: BHLB 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.

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.

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