Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Heartland Financial USA (NASDAQ:HTLF) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report released on Tuesday morning.

According to Zacks, “Heartland Financial USA, Inc. is a multi-bank holding company operating through bank subsidiaries in the states of Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois and New Mexico and a federal savings bank subsidiary in Iowa. The Bank Subsidiaries provide full-service retail banking. Deposit products include checking and other demand deposit accounts, savings accounts, money market accounts, individual retirement accounts and other time deposits. Loans include commercial and industrial, agricultural, real estate mortgage, consumer, home equity, credit cards and lines of credit. “

HTLF has been the topic of a number of other research reports. BidaskClub lowered shares of Heartland Financial USA from a sell rating to a strong sell rating in a research report on Saturday, December 1st. ValuEngine lowered shares of Heartland Financial USA from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report on Thursday, September 27th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have given a hold rating and one has issued a buy rating to the stock. Heartland Financial USA has a consensus rating of Hold and an average target price of $60.00.

Shares of Heartland Financial USA stock traded up $0.13 during trading hours on Tuesday, reaching $45.68. 3,898 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 113,888. Heartland Financial USA has a fifty-two week low of $41.88 and a fifty-two week high of $61.95. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.22, a current ratio of 0.80 and a quick ratio of 0.80. The company has a market cap of $1.57 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 15.12, a P/E/G ratio of 1.09 and a beta of 1.06.

Heartland Financial USA (NASDAQ:HTLF) last issued its earnings results on Monday, October 29th. The bank reported $0.97 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.95 by $0.02. The company had revenue of $140.44 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $138.73 million. Heartland Financial USA had a net margin of 17.94% and a return on equity of 9.52%. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $0.72 EPS. As a group, sell-side analysts expect that Heartland Financial USA will post 3.59 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a special dividend, which was paid on Friday, December 28th. Stockholders of record on Friday, December 21st were paid a dividend of $0.05 per share. This represents a dividend yield of 1.12%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, December 20th. Heartland Financial USA’s payout ratio is currently 18.67%.

In other Heartland Financial USA news, Director R Michael Mccoy purchased 2,015 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, December 12th. The stock was purchased at an average price of $49.41 per share, with a total value of $99,561.15. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, Director Kurt Saylor sold 5,260 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Monday, November 19th. The shares were sold at an average price of $54.44, for a total transaction of $286,354.40. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 25,000 shares of company stock valued at $1,350,896 in the last ninety days. Insiders own 6.60% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Vanguard Group Inc raised its stake in Heartland Financial USA by 48.6% during the third quarter. Vanguard Group Inc now owns 2,045,793 shares of the bank’s stock worth $118,759,000 after buying an additional 668,960 shares during the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its stake in Heartland Financial USA by 48.6% during the third quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 2,045,793 shares of the bank’s stock worth $118,759,000 after buying an additional 668,960 shares during the last quarter. Rehmann Capital Advisory Group raised its stake in Heartland Financial USA by 5,362.1% during the third quarter. Rehmann Capital Advisory Group now owns 40,693 shares of the bank’s stock worth $701,000 after buying an additional 39,948 shares during the last quarter. Teachers Advisors LLC raised its stake in Heartland Financial USA by 1.8% during the third quarter. Teachers Advisors LLC now owns 63,279 shares of the bank’s stock worth $3,673,000 after buying an additional 1,122 shares during the last quarter. Finally, IndexIQ Advisors LLC raised its stake in Heartland Financial USA by 3.9% during the third quarter. IndexIQ Advisors LLC now owns 42,851 shares of the bank’s stock worth $2,488,000 after buying an additional 1,618 shares during the last quarter. 55.29% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Heartland Financial USA

Heartland Financial USA, Inc, a multi-bank holding company, provides commercial, small business, and consumer banking services to individuals and businesses in the United States. It accepts various deposit products, including checking and other demand deposit accounts, NOW accounts, savings accounts, money market accounts, certificates of deposit, individual retirement accounts, health savings accounts, and other time deposits.

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