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 4 points (0.0%) at 17,515 as of Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2015, 4:20 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,216 issues advancing vs. 1,900 declining with 118 unchanged.

The Banking industry as a whole closed the day down 0.6% versus the S&P 500, which was up 0.2%. Top gainers within the Banking industry included Magyar Bancorp ( MGYR), up 2.6%, OptimumBank Holdings ( OPHC), up 2.2%, QC Holdings ( QCCO), up 9.8%, Mid Penn Bancorp ( MPB), up 3.8% and Colony Bankcorp ( CBAN), up 3.7%.

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

Colony Bankcorp ( CBAN) is one of the companies that pushed the Banking industry higher today. Colony Bankcorp was up $0.28 (3.7%) to $7.83 on light volume. Throughout the day, 1,014 shares of Colony Bankcorp exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2,900 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $7.60-$7.83 after having opened the day at $7.60 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $7.55.

Colony Bankcorp, Inc. operates as the bank holding company for Colony Bank that provides retail and commercial banking services to consumers and small- to medium-size businesses primarily in central, south, and coastal Georgia. Colony Bankcorp has a market cap of $63.7 million and is part of the financial sector. Shares are down 4.2% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are no analysts who rate Colony Bankcorp a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and none rate it a hold.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Colony Bankcorp as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income and attractive valuation levels. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on CBAN go as follows:

  • CBAN's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 0.1%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 3.3%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • Looking at where the stock is today compared to one year ago, we find that it is not only higher, but it has also clearly outperformed the rise in the S&P 500 over the same period. Although other factors naturally played a role, the company's strong earnings growth was key. 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.
  • COLONY BANKCORP INC reported significant earnings per share improvement 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 two years. During the past fiscal year, COLONY BANKCORP INC increased its bottom line by earning $0.37 versus $0.14 in the prior year.
  • 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 92.7% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $1.08 million to $2.08 million.

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

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At the close, QC Holdings ( QCCO) was up $0.16 (9.8%) to $1.80 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 74,407 shares of QC Holdings exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 10,400 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $1.27-$1.80 after having opened the day at $1.61 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $1.64.

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 $28.7 million and is part of the financial sector. Shares are unchanged year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday. 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, 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's earnings per share declined by 33.3% in the most recent quarter compared to 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.
  • 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 24.91%. Regardless of QCCO's low profit margin, it has managed to increase from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, QCCO's net profit margin of 0.57% is significantly lower than the industry average.
  • The share price of QC HOLDINGS INC has not done very well: it is down 12.31% 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.
  • Regardless of the drop in revenue, the company managed to outperform against the industry average of 4.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 3.5%. The declining revenue appears to have seeped down to the company's bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.

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.

Magyar Bancorp ( MGYR) was another company that pushed the Banking industry higher today. Magyar Bancorp was up $0.21 (2.6%) to $8.41 on average volume. Throughout the day, 1,262 shares of Magyar Bancorp exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1,300 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $8.21-$8.41 after having opened the day at $8.21 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $8.20.

Magyar Bancorp, Inc. operates as the bank holding company for Magyar Bank that provides various banking products and services for families and businesses in Central New Jersey. Magyar Bancorp has a market cap of $47.7 million and is part of the financial sector. Shares are down 2.8% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are no analysts who rate Magyar Bancorp a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and none rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Magyar Bancorp as a hold. 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 and expanding profit margins. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that we feel that the company's cash flow from its operations has been weak overall.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on MGYR 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 Thrifts & Mortgage Finance industry. The net income increased by 48.8% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $0.13 million to $0.19 million.
  • MAGYAR BANCORP INC reported significant earnings per share improvement 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, MAGYAR BANCORP INC increased its bottom line by earning $0.09 versus $0.04 in the prior year.
  • Compared to where it was a year ago today, the stock is now trading at a higher level, reflecting both the market's overall trend during that period and the fact that the company's earnings growth has been robust. Looking ahead, the stock's rise over the last year has already helped drive it to a level which is relatively expensive compared to the rest of its industry, implying reduced upside potential.
  • 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 Thrifts & Mortgage Finance industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, MAGYAR BANCORP INC underperformed against that of the industry average and is significantly less than that of the S&P 500.
  • Net operating cash flow has decreased to $2.68 million or 25.73% when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite a decrease in cash flow of 25.73%, MAGYAR BANCORP INC is in line with the industry average cash flow growth rate of -35.70%.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: Magyar 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.