Zacks Investment Research Downgrades Associated Banc-Corp (ASB) to Hold
Associated Banc-Corp (NYSE:ASB) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report issued on Thursday.
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. However, margin pressure is likely to keep financials under strain in the near-term. Further, mounting expenses, increased dependence on commercial loans and lack of geographic exposure are the other major concerns.”
A number of other brokerages also recently issued reports on ASB. Deutsche Bank AG upped their price objective on Associated Banc-Corp from $20.00 to $22.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, October 11th. Barclays PLC upped their price objective on Associated Banc-Corp from $19.00 to $20.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a research note on Tuesday, August 16th. DA Davidson started coverage on Associated Banc-Corp in a research note on Monday, October 3rd. They issued an “underperform” rating and a $18.00 price objective for the company. Finally, Jefferies Group restated a “buy” rating on shares of Associated Banc-Corp in a research note on Monday, August 1st. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have assigned a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. Associated Banc-Corp currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $20.14.
Associated Banc-Corp (NYSE:ASB) opened at 22.85 on Thursday. The company has a market cap of $3.40 billion, a PE ratio of 19.20 and a beta of 1.18. Associated Banc-Corp has a 12 month low of $15.45 and a 12 month high of $22.90. The company has a 50 day moving average price of $19.81 and a 200-day moving average price of $18.78.
Associated Banc-Corp (NYSE:ASB) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, October 20th. The company reported $0.34 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.32 by $0.02. Associated Banc-Corp had a return on equity of 6.46% and a net margin of 16.55%. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted $0.31 earnings per share. Equities analysts predict that Associated Banc-Corp will post $1.24 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, December 15th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, December 1st will be given a dividend of $0.12 per share. This represents a $0.48 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.10%. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, November 29th. This is a boost from Associated Banc-Corp’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.11. Associated Banc-Corp’s dividend payout ratio is currently 36.98%.
In related news, insider Breck F. Hanson sold 4,989 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Monday, November 7th. The stock was sold at an average price of $20.19, for a total transaction of $100,727.91. Following the sale, the insider now owns 16,997 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $343,169.43. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, insider John A. Utz sold 2,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, September 7th. The stock was sold at an average price of $19.54, for a total value of $39,080.00. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 44,290 shares in the company, valued at approximately $865,426.60. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 2.09% of the company’s stock.
A number of hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the company. Price T Rowe Associates Inc. MD boosted its stake in shares of Associated Banc-Corp by 29.9% in the third quarter. Price T Rowe Associates Inc. MD now owns 53,060 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,039,000 after buying an additional 12,200 shares during the period. Credit Suisse AG boosted its stake in shares of Associated Banc-Corp by 11.6% in the third quarter. Credit Suisse AG now owns 187,462 shares of the company’s stock worth $3,672,000 after buying an additional 19,444 shares during the period. Ameritas Investment Partners Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Associated Banc-Corp by 88.6% in the third quarter. Ameritas Investment Partners Inc. now owns 44,776 shares of the company’s stock worth $877,000 after buying an additional 21,037 shares during the period. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company bought a new stake in shares of Associated Banc-Corp during the third quarter worth about $3,983,000. Finally, Chicago Partners Investment Group LLC boosted its stake in shares of Associated Banc-Corp by 0.6% in the third quarter. Chicago Partners Investment Group LLC now owns 6,340 shares of the company’s stock worth $124,000 after buying an additional 36 shares during the period. 77.62% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
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.
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