People’s United Financial, Inc. (NASDAQ:PBCT) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note issued to investors on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “Shares of People’s United have underperformed the industry in the last six months. The company has a decent earnings surprise history. It surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings in two of the trailing four quarters. The company is steadily growing through acquisitions, which is likely to continue in the near future, given its strong balance sheet position. Also, the company’s steady capital deployment activities continue to enhance investors’ confidence. However, escalating expenses despite undertaking initiatives to curb costs remains a concern.”

Several other brokerages have also commented on PBCT. Morgan Stanley reaffirmed an “equal weight” rating and issued a $17.75 price objective (up previously from $17.50) on shares of People’s United Financial in a report on Friday, July 7th. Jefferies Group LLC reissued a “hold” rating and set a $19.00 price target on shares of People’s United Financial in a report on Friday, August 18th. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reaffirmed a “hold” rating on shares of People’s United Financial in a research note on Monday, July 10th. BidaskClub raised People’s United Financial from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Friday, June 30th. Finally, Piper Jaffray Companies set a $16.00 price objective on People’s United Financial and gave the stock a “sell” rating in a research note on Thursday, August 17th. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating and nine have assigned a hold rating to the stock. People’s United Financial currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $18.38.

Shares of People’s United Financial (NASDAQ:PBCT) traded up 1.367% during trading on Tuesday, hitting $18.165. 356,610 shares of the stock traded hands. The firm has a market cap of $6.13 billion, a P/E ratio of 20.319 and a beta of 0.84. The company has a 50-day moving average of $17.05 and a 200-day moving average of $17.39. People’s United Financial has a 52 week low of $15.28 and a 52 week high of $20.13.

People’s United Financial (NASDAQ:PBCT) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 20th. The bank reported $0.19 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.23 by ($0.04). The company had revenue of $366.50 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $357.16 million. People’s United Financial had a net margin of 18.88% and a return on equity of 6.14%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 10.0% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $0.23 EPS. On average, analysts forecast that People’s United Financial will post $0.93 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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In related news, insider Jeffrey Hoyt sold 6,759 shares of People’s United Financial stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, July 25th. The stock was sold at an average price of $17.98, for a total value of $121,526.82. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, Director Janet M. Hansen sold 12,000 shares of People’s United Financial stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, September 20th. The stock was sold at an average price of $17.14, for a total value of $205,680.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 145,707 shares in the company, valued at $2,497,417.98. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 2.70% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in PBCT. BlackRock Inc. raised its position in People’s United Financial by 2,026.9% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 26,740,727 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $486,681,000 after purchasing an additional 25,483,451 shares during the period. Janus Henderson Group PLC grew its stake in shares of People’s United Financial by 9,587.6% in the second quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 4,212,281 shares of the bank’s stock worth $74,389,000 after acquiring an additional 4,168,800 shares in the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. grew its stake in shares of People’s United Financial by 10.1% in the first quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 32,902,001 shares of the bank’s stock worth $598,816,000 after acquiring an additional 3,027,697 shares in the last quarter. State Street Corp grew its stake in shares of People’s United Financial by 6.2% in the second quarter. State Street Corp now owns 39,968,330 shares of the bank’s stock worth $705,843,000 after acquiring an additional 2,316,636 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Janus Capital Management LLC grew its stake in shares of People’s United Financial by 86.2% in the first quarter. Janus Capital Management LLC now owns 3,574,254 shares of the bank’s stock worth $65,051,000 after acquiring an additional 1,654,567 shares in the last quarter. 77.28% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About People’s United Financial

People’s United Financial, Inc is a bank holding company and a financial holding company of People’s United Bank (the Bank). The Bank is engaged in providing commercial banking, retail banking and wealth management services to individual, corporate and municipal customers. The Company operates through two segments: Commercial Banking and Retail Banking.

Analyst Recommendations for People`s United Financial (NASDAQ:PBCT)

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