3 Stocks Improving Performance Of The Banking Industry

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.

Two out of the three major indices are trading lower today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading down 55.58 points (-0.3%) at 16,927 as of Tuesday, July 29, 2014, 3:55 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,583 issues advancing vs. 1,391 declining with 165 unchanged.

The Banking industry as a whole was unchanged today versus the S&P 500, which was down 0.3%. Top gainers within the Banking industry included OptimumBank Holdings ( OPHC), up 3.5%, Porter Bancorp ( PBIB), up 10.6%, Bank of the James Financial Group ( BOTJ), up 2.6%, New Century Bancorp ( NCBC), up 3.5% and Citizens ( CIZN), up 3.2%.

TheStreet Ratings Group would like to highlight 3 stocks pushing the industry higher today:

Citizens ( CIZN) is one of the companies that pushed the Banking industry higher today. Citizens was up $0.59 (3.2%) to $19.29 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 4,796 shares of Citizens exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1,600 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $19.15-$19.30 after having opened the day at $19.29 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $18.70.

Citizens Holding Company operates as the bank holding company for The Citizens Bank of Philadelphia that provides commercial and personal banking products and services in Mississippi, the United States. Citizens has a market cap of $91.2 million and is part of the financial sector. Shares are up 0.5% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are no analysts who rate Citizens a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and none rate it a hold.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Citizens as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its compelling growth in net income, impressive record of earnings per share growth, notable return on equity and increase in stock price during the past year. Although the company may harbor some minor weaknesses, we feel they are unlikely to have a significant impact on results.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on CIZN go as follows:

  • 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 30.5% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $1.60 million to $2.09 million.
  • CITIZENS HOLDING CO has improved earnings per share by 30.3% 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 year. During the past fiscal year, CITIZENS HOLDING CO increased its bottom line by earning $1.47 versus $1.39 in the prior year.
  • 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. Compared to other companies in the Commercial Banks industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, CITIZENS HOLDING CO has outperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500.
  • In its most recent trading session, CIZN has closed at a price level that was not very different from its closing price of one year earlier. This is probably due to its weak earnings growth as well as other mixed factors. Looking ahead, unless broad bear market conditions prevail, we still see more upside potential for this stock, despite the fact that it has already risen over the past year.

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

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At the close, New Century Bancorp ( NCBC) was up $0.24 (3.5%) to $7.00 on light volume. Throughout the day, 108 shares of New Century Bancorp exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3,500 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $7.00-$7.00 after having opened the day at $7.00 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $6.76.

New Century Bancorp, Inc. operates as a bank holding company for New Century Bank that provides commercial and retail banking products and services to individuals and small to medium-sized businesses in southeastern North Carolina. New Century Bancorp has a market cap of $46.8 million and is part of the financial sector. Shares are up 1.3% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there is 1 analyst who rates New Century Bancorp a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and none rate it a hold.

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TheStreet Ratings rates New Century Bancorp as a buy. 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 lackluster performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on NCBC go as follows:

  • The gross profit margin for NEW CENTURY BANCORP INC is currently very high, coming in at 82.12%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Despite the strong results of the gross profit margin, NCBC's net profit margin of 4.58% significantly trails the industry average.
  • NCBC, with its decline in revenue, slightly underperformed the industry average of 4.6%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 8.6%. The declining revenue appears to have seeped down to the company's bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • Net operating cash flow has decreased to $0.84 million or 38.62% when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite a decrease in cash flow of 38.62%, NEW CENTURY BANCORP INC is still significantly exceeding the industry average of -98.65%.
  • The company's current return on equity has slightly decreased from the same quarter one year prior. This implies a minor weakness in the organization. Compared to other companies in the Commercial Banks industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, NEW CENTURY BANCORP INC underperformed against that of the industry average and is significantly less than that of the S&P 500.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: New Century Bancorp 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.

Porter Bancorp ( PBIB) was another company that pushed the Banking industry higher today. Porter Bancorp was up $0.10 (10.6%) to $1.08 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 116,294 shares of Porter Bancorp exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 14,700 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $0.96-$1.20 after having opened the day at $1.00 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $0.98.

Porter Bancorp, Inc. operates as the bank holding company for PBI Bank that provides commercial and personal banking products and services, and financial services in Central Kentucky and Louisville. Porter Bancorp has a market cap of $13.4 million and is part of the financial sector. Shares are down 3.2% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are no analysts who rate Porter Bancorp a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and none rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Porter Bancorp as a sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its unimpressive growth in net income and weak operating cash flow.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on PBIB go as follows:

  • The company, on the basis of change in net income from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500 and the Commercial Banks industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 315.9% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from -$0.07 million to -$0.29 million.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to -$0.28 million or 109.98% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing the cash generation rate to the industry average, the firm's growth is significantly lower.
  • 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, PORTER BANCORP INC's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • PBIB, with its decline in revenue, underperformed when compared the industry average of 4.6%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues fell by 16.2%. The declining revenue appears to have seeped down to the company's bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • PORTER 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 not demonstrated a clear trend in earnings over the past 2 years, making it difficult to accurately predict earnings for the coming year. During the past fiscal year, PORTER BANCORP INC continued to lose money by earning -$0.28 versus -$2.83 in the prior year.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: Porter Bancorp 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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