3 Stocks Advancing The Financial Sector

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.

All three major indices traded up today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading up 167 points (1.0%) at 17,113 as of Friday, Sept. 26, 2014, 4:20 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 2,244 issues advancing vs. 828 declining with 137 unchanged.

The Financial sector as a whole closed the day up 0.5% versus the S&P 500, which was up 0.9%. Top gainers within the Financial sector included Porter Bancorp ( PBIB), up 3.1%, Oconee Federal Financial ( OFED), up 4.0%, QC Holdings ( QCCO), up 5.4%, First Financial Service ( FFKY), up 2.5% and Broadway Financial ( BYFC), up 11.6%.

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

First Financial Service ( FFKY) is one of the companies that pushed the Financial sector higher today. First Financial Service was up $0.09 (2.5%) to $3.69 on light volume. Throughout the day, 275 shares of First Financial Service exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 9,200 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $3.69-$3.69 after having opened the day at $3.69 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $3.60.

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. First Financial Service has a market cap of $18.6 million and is part of the banking industry. Shares are down 26.5% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are no analysts who rate First Financial Service a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 1 rates it a hold.

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TheStreet Ratings rates First Financial Service as a sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its unimpressive growth in net income and feeble growth in its earnings per share.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on FFKY 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 74.9% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from -$1.13 million to -$1.97 million.
  • FIRST FINANCIAL SERVICE CORP 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. We feel it is likely to report a decline in earnings 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).
  • In its most recent trading session, FFKY 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. Turning our attention to the future direction of the stock, we do not believe this stock offers ample reward opportunity to compensate for the risks, despite the fact that it rose over 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, FIRST FINANCIAL SERVICE CORP's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • FFKY, with its decline in revenue, slightly underperformed the industry average of 12.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues fell by 14.5%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.

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.

At the close, QC Holdings ( QCCO) was up $0.10 (5.4%) to $1.90 on average volume. Throughout the day, 13,330 shares of QC Holdings exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 15,600 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $1.80-$1.90 after having opened the day at $1.82 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $1.80.

QC Holdings, Inc. and its subsidiaries provide various financial services. The company operates in three segments: Branch Lending, Centralized Lending, and E-Lending. QC Holdings has a market cap of $32.4 million and is part of the banking industry. Shares are up 3.4% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are no analysts who rate QC Holdings a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and none rate it a hold.

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

TheStreet Ratings rates QC Holdings as a sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its feeble growth in its earnings per share, deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity, poor profit margins and generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on QCCO go as follows:

  • QC HOLDINGS 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. The company has reported a trend of declining earnings per share over the past two years. During the past fiscal year, QC HOLDINGS INC swung to a loss, reporting -$0.53 versus $0.49 in the prior year.
  • 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 Consumer Finance industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 45.5% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $0.34 million to $0.19 million.
  • Return on equity has greatly decreased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of major weakness within the corporation. Compared to other companies in the Consumer Finance industry and the overall market, QC HOLDINGS INC's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • The gross profit margin for QC HOLDINGS INC is rather low; currently it is at 23.78%. It has decreased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 0.51% significantly trails the industry average.
  • The share price of QC HOLDINGS INC has not done very well: it is down 6.44% and has underperformed the S&P 500, in part reflecting the company's sharply declining earnings per share when compared to the year-earlier quarter. The fact that the stock is now selling for less than others in its industry in relation to its current earnings is not reason enough to justify a buy rating at this time.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: QC Holdings 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 Financial sector higher today. Porter Bancorp was up $0.03 (3.1%) to $1.01 on light volume. Throughout the day, 2,783 shares of Porter Bancorp exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 13,600 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $0.98-$1.01 after having opened the day at $1.01 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 $13.2 million and is part of the banking industry. Shares are down 2.9% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday. 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 generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself and weak operating cash flow.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on PBIB go as follows:

  • PBIB has underperformed the S&P 500 Index, declining 21.33% from its price level of one year ago. The fact that the stock is now selling for less than others in its industry in relation to its current earnings is not reason enough to justify a buy rating at this time.
  • Net operating cash flow has decreased to $1.43 million or 41.08% when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite a decrease in cash flow of 41.08%, PORTER BANCORP INC is still significantly exceeding the industry average of -97.39%.
  • 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.
  • The gross profit margin for PORTER BANCORP INC is currently very high, coming in at 77.04%. Regardless of PBIB's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, PBIB's net profit margin of 0.38% is significantly lower than the industry average.
  • PBIB, with its decline in revenue, slightly underperformed the industry average of 12.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues fell by 16.5%. 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: 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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