Associated Banc-Corp (NYSE:ASB) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Wednesday.

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.”

Several other brokerages also recently weighed in on ASB. Deutsche Bank AG increased their price target on Associated Banc-Corp from $20.00 to $22.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, October 11th. Barclays PLC increased their price target on Associated Banc-Corp from $19.00 to $20.00 and gave the stock an “equal weight” rating in a report on Tuesday, August 16th. DA Davidson initiated coverage on Associated Banc-Corp in a report on Monday, October 3rd. They issued an “underperform” rating and a $18.00 price target on the stock. Finally, Jefferies Group reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of Associated Banc-Corp in a report 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 assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $20.29.

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

Associated Banc-Corp (NYSE:ASB) remained flat at $23.00 during midday trading on Wednesday. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 280,189 shares. The stock has a market cap of $3.42 billion, a P/E ratio of 19.33 and a beta of 1.18. Associated Banc-Corp has a 1-year low of $15.45 and a 1-year high of $23.60. The company has a 50-day moving average price of $20.46 and a 200 day moving average price of $19.02.

Associated Banc-Corp (NYSE:ASB) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, October 20th. The company reported $0.34 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate 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 business earned $0.31 EPS. On average, equities analysts predict that Associated Banc-Corp will post $1.24 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, December 15th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, December 1st will be issued a $0.12 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, November 29th. This is an increase from Associated Banc-Corp’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.11. This represents a $0.48 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.09%. Associated Banc-Corp’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 36.98%.

In other news, CEO Philip B. Flynn sold 10,000 shares of Associated Banc-Corp stock in a transaction on Monday, October 31st. The stock was sold at an average price of $19.86, for a total value of $198,600.00. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 129,735 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,576,537.10. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, insider John A. Utz sold 2,000 shares of Associated Banc-Corp stock in a transaction on Wednesday, September 7th. The shares were sold at an average price of $19.54, for a total value of $39,080.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 44,290 shares in the company, valued at $865,426.60. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 2.09% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in ASB. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank boosted its stake in Associated Banc-Corp by 11.8% in the third quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank now owns 5,382 shares of the company’s stock worth $105,000 after buying an additional 566 shares during the last quarter. Quantbot Technologies LP acquired a new stake in Associated Banc-Corp during the third quarter worth $110,000. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC boosted its stake in 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 worth $111,000 after buying an additional 5,522 shares during the last quarter. Chicago Partners Investment Group LLC boosted its stake in 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 worth $108,000 after buying an additional 41 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Schonfeld Strategic Advisors LLC acquired a new stake in Associated Banc-Corp during the first quarter worth $183,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 77.62% of the company’s stock.

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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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