Associated Banc-Corp (NYSE:ASB) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note issued on Tuesday. The firm currently has a $25.00 price target on the stock. Zacks Investment Research’s price target would indicate a potential upside of 11.36% from the company’s previous close.

According to Zacks, “Associated Banc-Corp’s third-quarter 2016 earnings surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate. Continued top-line growth was partly offset by higher operating expenses and a drastic rise in credit costs. The company is expected to continue witnessing organic growth, driven by improving loan and deposit balances. In addition, the company’s branch consolidation efforts and inorganic growth strategy will likely enhance profitability going forward. Further, its capital deployment activities remain impressive. However, pressured margins, mounting expenses, increased dependence on commercial loans and lack of geographic exposure are the major concerns for Associated Banc-Corp.”

Several other equities research analysts also recently weighed in on ASB. Jefferies Group reissued a “buy” rating on shares of Associated Banc-Corp in a research report on Monday, August 1st. Barclays PLC raised their price target on shares of Associated Banc-Corp from $19.00 to $20.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a research report on Tuesday, August 16th. DA Davidson initiated coverage on shares of Associated Banc-Corp in a research report on Monday, October 3rd. They set an “underperform” rating and a $18.00 price target for the company. Finally, Deutsche Bank AG raised their price target on shares of Associated Banc-Corp from $20.00 to $22.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Tuesday, October 11th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have issued a hold rating and three have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. Associated Banc-Corp presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $20.14.

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

Shares of Associated Banc-Corp (NYSE:ASB) opened at 22.45 on Tuesday. Associated Banc-Corp has a one year low of $15.45 and a one year high of $23.60. The company has a market cap of $3.34 billion, a PE ratio of 18.87 and a beta of 1.18. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $20.09 and its 200-day moving average is $18.87.

Associated Banc-Corp (NYSE:ASB) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, October 20th. The company reported $0.34 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.32 by $0.02. Associated Banc-Corp had a net margin of 16.55% and a return on equity of 6.46%. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $0.31 earnings per share. On average, equities analysts anticipate that Associated Banc-Corp will post $1.24 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, December 15th. Investors of record on Thursday, December 1st will be issued a $0.12 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, November 29th. This represents a $0.48 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.14%. This is a boost from Associated Banc-Corp’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.11. Associated Banc-Corp’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 36.98%.

In other news, CFO Moral-Niles Christopher Del sold 4,814 shares of Associated Banc-Corp stock in a transaction on Wednesday, September 7th. The shares were sold at an average price of $19.57, for a total transaction of $94,209.98. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, insider John A. Utz sold 2,000 shares of Associated Banc-Corp stock in a transaction on Wednesday, September 7th. The stock was sold at an average price of $19.54, for a total transaction of $39,080.00. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 44,290 shares in the company, valued at approximately $865,426.60. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 2.09% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank boosted its position in shares of Associated Banc-Corp by 11.8% in the third quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank now owns 5,382 shares of the company’s stock valued at $105,000 after buying an additional 566 shares in the last quarter. Chicago Partners Investment Group LLC boosted its position in shares of Associated Banc-Corp by 0.7% in the second quarter. Chicago Partners Investment Group LLC now owns 6,304 shares of the company’s stock valued at $108,000 after buying an additional 41 shares in the last quarter. Quantbot Technologies LP acquired a new position in shares of Associated Banc-Corp during the third quarter valued at $110,000. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC boosted its position in shares of Associated Banc-Corp by 3,408.6% in the third quarter. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC now owns 5,684 shares of the company’s stock valued at $111,000 after buying an additional 5,522 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Schonfeld Strategic Advisors LLC acquired a new position in shares of Associated Banc-Corp during the first quarter valued at $183,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 76.78% of the company’s stock.

Associated Banc-Corp Company Profile

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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