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.

Trade-Ideas LLC identified Astoria Financial Corporation ( AF) as a strong on high relative volume candidate. In addition to specific proprietary factors, Trade-Ideas identified Astoria Financial Corporation as such a stock due to the following factors:

  • AF has an average dollar-volume (as measured by average daily share volume multiplied by share price) of $19.5 million.
  • AF has traded 201,941 shares today.
  • AF is trading at 9.68 times the normal volume for the stock at this time of day.
  • AF is trading at a new high 4.01% above yesterday's close.

'Strong on High Relative Volume' stocks are worth watching because major volume moves tend to indicate underlying activity such as M&A events, material stock news, analyst upgrades, insider buying, buying from 'superinvestors,' or that hedge funds and momentum traders are piling into a stock ahead of a catalyst. Regardless of the impetus behind the price and volume action, when a stock moves with strength and volume it can indicate the start of a new trend on which early investors can capitalize. In the event of a well-timed trading opportunity, combining technical indicators with fundamental trends and a disciplined trading methodology should help you take the first steps towards investment success.

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More details on AF:

Astoria Financial Corporation operates as the holding company for Astoria Bank that provides various financial products and services to individuals and businesses in the United States. The stock currently has a dividend yield of 1.1%. AF has a PE ratio of 18. Currently there are 2 analysts that rate Astoria Financial Corporation a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 5 rate it a hold.

The average volume for Astoria Financial Corporation has been 618,400 shares per day over the past 30 days. Astoria Financial has a market cap of $1.5 billion and is part of the financial sector and banking industry. The stock has a beta of 0.95 and a short float of 7.4% with 5.42 days to cover. Shares are up 14.9% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday.

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TheStreetRatings.com Analysis:

TheStreet Quant Ratings rates Astoria Financial Corporation as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, increase in net income, reasonable valuation levels, expanding profit margins and growth in earnings per share. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • 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. Turning our attention to the future direction of the stock, it goes without saying that even the best stocks can fall in an overall down market. However, in any other environment, this stock still has good upside potential despite the fact that it has already risen in the past year.
  • 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 40.9% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $22.30 million to $31.43 million.
  • The gross profit margin for ASTORIA FINANCIAL CORP is currently very high, coming in at 76.99%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 23.39% is above that of the industry average.
  • Regardless of the drop in revenue, the company managed to outperform against the industry average of 11.7%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 2.1%. The declining revenue has not hurt the company's bottom line, with increasing earnings per share.

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