Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Associated Banc-Corp (NYSE:ASB) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report released on Friday.

According to Zacks, “Estimates have been stable lately ahead of Associated Banc-Corp’s third-quarter 2016 earnings release. Further, the company has a positive record of earnings surprises in the recent quarters. Moreover, the company is expected to continue witnessing organic growth, driven by solid growth in loans and deposits. Also, improvement in economic conditions should further aid enhancement of the company’s asset quality. In addition, the company’s branch consolidation efforts and inorganic growth strategy will enhance profitability. However, pressure on NIM due to low interest rate environment remains major near term headwind. Furthermore, persistently elevated expenses levels, increased dependence on commercial loans add to the woes. Also, lack of geographic exposure can adversely affect its financial performance if the regional economy starts faltering.”

A number of other analysts also recently issued reports on ASB. Jefferies Group reaffirmed a buy rating on shares of Associated Banc-Corp in a research note on Monday, August 1st. Barclays PLC raised their target price on Associated Banc-Corp from $19.00 to $20.00 and gave the stock an equal weight rating in a research note on Tuesday, August 16th. Finally, DA Davidson initiated coverage on Associated Banc-Corp in a research note on Monday, October 3rd. They issued an underperform rating and a $18.00 target price for the company. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have given a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the company. Associated Banc-Corp presently has an average rating of Hold and an average price target of $19.38.

Analyst Recommendations for Associated Banc-Corp (NYSE:ASB)

Associated Banc-Corp (NYSE:ASB) traded up 0.71% during mid-day trading on Friday, reaching $19.75. 172,036 shares of the company were exchanged. Associated Banc-Corp has a 1-year low of $15.45 and a 1-year high of $20.90. The stock’s 50-day moving average price is $19.58 and its 200-day moving average price is $18.37. The stock has a market capitalization of $2.93 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 17.03 and a beta of 1.32.

Associated Banc-Corp (NYSE:ASB) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, July 21st. The company reported $0.31 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, hitting analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.31. Associated Banc-Corp had a return on equity of 6.44% and a net margin of 16.73%. On average, equities research analysts anticipate that Associated Banc-Corp will post $1.23 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, September 15th. Investors of record on Thursday, September 1st were issued a dividend of $0.11 per share. This represents a $0.44 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.24%. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, August 30th. Associated Banc-Corp’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 37.93%.

In other news, CFO Moral-Niles Christopher Del sold 8,052 shares of Associated Banc-Corp stock in a transaction dated Monday, July 25th. The stock was sold at an average price of $18.55, for a total value of $149,364.60. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief financial officer now owns 79,644 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,477,396.20. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, Director John B. Williams acquired 2,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, September 8th. The stock was bought at an average price of $19.85 per share, with a total value of $39,700.00. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Corporate insiders own 2.09% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. State Street Corp boosted its position in shares of Associated Banc-Corp by 3.0% in the first quarter. State Street Corp now owns 6,356,937 shares of the company’s stock valued at $114,052,000 after buying an additional 185,248 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. boosted its position in shares of Associated Banc-Corp by 21.3% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 67,882 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,217,000 after buying an additional 11,902 shares during the last quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. boosted its position in shares of Associated Banc-Corp by 14.3% in the first quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. now owns 862,581 shares of the company’s stock valued at $15,475,000 after buying an additional 108,154 shares during the last quarter. Norges Bank bought a new position in shares of Associated Banc-Corp during the fourth quarter valued at about $38,369,000. Finally, Dimensional Fund Advisors LP boosted its position in shares of Associated Banc-Corp by 13.5% in the second quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 10,532,443 shares of the company’s stock valued at $180,628,000 after buying an additional 1,255,448 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 74.28% of the company’s stock.

About Associated Banc-Corp

Associated Banc-Corp is a bank holding company. The Company, through its banking subsidiary Associated Bank, National Association (the Bank) and various nonbanking subsidiaries, provides a range of banking and nonbanking products and services to individuals. The Company operates through three segments: Corporate and Commercial Specialty; Community, Consumer, and Business, and Risk Management and Shared Services.

5 Day Chart for NYSE:ASB

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