Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Sandy Spring Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:SASR) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report released on Friday morning.

According to Zacks, “SANDY SPRING is a bank holding company for Sandy Spring National Bank of Maryland. The bank is community oriented, and conducts a full-service commercial banking business through community offices located in Montgomery, Howard, Prince George’s and Anne Arundel counties in Maryland. “

Several other research analysts have also recently issued reports on the stock. ValuEngine raised shares of Sandy Spring Bancorp from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report on Wednesday, May 17th. BidaskClub raised shares of Sandy Spring Bancorp from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report on Saturday, August 26th.

Sandy Spring Bancorp (NASDAQ:SASR) opened at 37.23 on Friday. Sandy Spring Bancorp has a 1-year low of $27.86 and a 1-year high of $45.64. The firm’s 50 day moving average price is $38.84 and its 200-day moving average price is $40.53. The stock has a market cap of $893.04 million, a price-to-earnings ratio of 15.94 and a beta of 1.02.

Sandy Spring Bancorp (NASDAQ:SASR) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, July 20th. The bank reported $0.61 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.58 by $0.03. Sandy Spring Bancorp had a net margin of 24.33% and a return on equity of 10.44%. The business had revenue of $55.90 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $55.53 million. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $0.44 earnings per share. On average, equities analysts anticipate that Sandy Spring Bancorp will post $2.51 earnings per share for the current year.

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The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, August 16th. Investors of record on Wednesday, August 9th were issued a dividend of $0.26 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Monday, August 7th. This represents a $1.04 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.79%. Sandy Spring Bancorp’s dividend payout ratio is currently 44.26%.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of SASR. William Blair Investment Management LLC purchased a new position in Sandy Spring Bancorp during the first quarter worth about $19,284,000. Thrivent Financial For Lutherans increased its holdings in Sandy Spring Bancorp by 90.7% in the second quarter. Thrivent Financial For Lutherans now owns 309,182 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $12,571,000 after buying an additional 147,030 shares in the last quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. increased its holdings in Sandy Spring Bancorp by 2,369.7% in the first quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 151,984 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $6,229,000 after buying an additional 145,830 shares in the last quarter. Robeco Institutional Asset Management B.V. purchased a new position in Sandy Spring Bancorp in the second quarter valued at about $5,524,000. Finally, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. increased its holdings in Sandy Spring Bancorp by 13.9% in the second quarter. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. now owns 808,009 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $32,854,000 after buying an additional 98,650 shares in the last quarter. 68.14% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Sandy Spring Bancorp Company Profile

Sandy Spring Bancorp, Inc is the bank holding company for Sandy Spring Bank (the Bank). The Company operates through three segments: Community Banking, Insurance and Investment Management. The Company’s Community Banking segment operates through Sandy Spring Bank and involves delivering a range of financial products and services, including various loan and deposit products to both individuals and businesses.

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