Will This Ratings Upgrade Help Northern Trust (NTRS) Stock Today?

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Northern Trust Corp. (NTRS) was upgraded to "neutral" from "underweight" at JPMorgan (JPM) on Friday.

The firm said it raised its rating on the financial holding company as Northern Trust is cutting costs and is leveraged to strong equity markets.

JPMorgan upped its price target on the stock to $67 from $59.50.

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Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates NORTHERN TRUST CORP as a Buy with a ratings score of A. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate NORTHERN TRUST CORP (NTRS) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, reasonable valuation levels, expanding profit margins, increase in stock price during the past year and notable return on equity. 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:

  • NTRS's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 0.1%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 4.9%. This growth in revenue does not appear to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, displayed by a decline in earnings per share.
  • NORTHERN TRUST CORP' earnings per share from the most recent quarter came in slightly below the year earlier quarter. 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, NORTHERN TRUST CORP increased its bottom line by earning $2.99 versus $2.81 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($3.36 versus $2.99).
  • The gross profit margin for NORTHERN TRUST CORP is currently very high, coming in at 95.82%. 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 16.11% trails the industry average.
  • Compared to where it was 12 months ago, the stock is up, but it has so far lagged the appreciation in the S&P 500. Turning our attention to the future direction of the stock, it goes without saying that even the best stocks can fall in an overall down market. However, in any other environment, this stock still has good upside potential despite the fact that it has already risen in the past year.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: NTRS Ratings Report
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