3 Stocks Advancing The Financial Sector

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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

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