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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Westamerica Bancorp  (WABC - Get Report) has been upgraded by TheStreet Ratings from Hold to Buy with a ratings score of B.  TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate WESTAMERICA BANCORPORATION (WABC) a BUY. This is driven by multiple 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. Among the primary strengths of the company is its expanding profit margins over time. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself."

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

  • The gross profit margin for WESTAMERICA BANCORPORATION is currently very high, coming in at 96.98%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 31.60% is above that of the industry average.
  • WABC, with its decline in revenue, slightly underperformed the industry average of 1.5%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 8.4%. The declining revenue appears to have seeped down to the company's bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • 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, WESTAMERICA BANCORPORATION has outperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to $12.76 million or 54.77% when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite a decrease in cash flow of 54.77%, WESTAMERICA BANCORPORATION is in line with the industry average cash flow growth rate of -63.25%.
  • In its most recent trading session, WABC 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. Despite the decline in its share price over the last year, this stock is still more expensive (when compared to its current earnings) than most other companies in its industry. We feel, however, that other strengths this company displays compensate for this.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: WABC Ratings Report

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