NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of the National Bank of Greece (NBG are higher by 4.80% to $1.31 on heavy volume in early afternoon trading on Wednesday, following reports that Germany is considering offering Greece an instrumental aid deal and that the European Central Bank has raised emergency funding for Greek banks.

It is possible that Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel will be satisfied with debt consumed Greece committing to at least one economic reform desired by creditors in order to get the ball rolling on bailout funds, Bloomberg reports.

Germany is still insisting on Greece agreeing to a number of reforms that include higher taxes, state asset sales, and "less generous" retirement benefits, Bloomberg added. However, it seems Germany may settle for Greece making one clear commitment in order to release aid.

Additionally, the ECB hiked up the cap on emergency liquidity assistance that Greek banks can pull from the country's central bank, Reuters reports.

The ECB increased the cap by 2.3 billion euros ($2.6 billion) raising the ceiling to 83 billion euros.

The bank has been slowly raising the cap in order to keep pressure on Athens to come to a deal with its creditors, Reuters added.

Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates NATIONAL BANK OF GREECE as a Sell with a ratings score of D. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate NATIONAL BANK OF GREECE (NBG) a SELL. This is driven by some concerns, which we believe should have a greater impact than any strengths, and could make it more difficult for investors to achieve positive results compared to most of the stocks we cover. 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 weak operating cash flow."

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

  • NATIONAL BANK OF GREECE 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 suffered a declining pattern earnings per share over the past two years. During the past fiscal year, NATIONAL BANK OF GREECE reported lower earnings of $0.15 versus $1.98 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 Commercial Banks industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 168.5% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $249.36 million to -$170.78 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 Commercial Banks industry and the overall market, NATIONAL BANK OF GREECE's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • The gross profit margin for NATIONAL BANK OF GREECE is currently lower than what is desirable, coming in at 28.20%. It has decreased significantly from the same period last year. Along with this, the net profit margin of -11.29% is significantly below that of the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to -$385.60 million or 192.98% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing to the industry average, the firm's growth rate is much lower.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: NBG Ratings Report