Zacks Investment Research Lowers 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 research report issued on Friday.
According to Zacks, “Estimates have been stable lately ahead of Associated Banc-Corp’s third-quarter 2016 earnings release. Further, the company has a positive record of earnings surprises in the recent quarters. Moreover, the company is expected to continue witnessing organic growth, driven by solid growth in loans and deposits. Also, improvement in economic conditions should further aid enhancement of the company’s asset quality. In addition, the company’s branch consolidation efforts and inorganic growth strategy will enhance profitability. However, pressure on NIM due to low interest rate environment remains major near term headwind. Furthermore, persistently elevated expenses levels, increased dependence on commercial loans add to the woes. Also, lack of geographic exposure can adversely affect its financial performance if the regional economy starts faltering.”
ASB has been the subject of several other reports. DA Davidson initiated coverage on shares of Associated Banc-Corp in a report on Monday. They set an “underperform” rating and a $18.00 target price for the company. Jefferies Group reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of Associated Banc-Corp in a report on Monday, August 1st. Finally, Barclays PLC lifted their target price on shares of Associated Banc-Corp from $19.00 to $20.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a report on Tuesday, August 16th. Two 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. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $19.38.
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Shares of Associated Banc-Corp (NYSE:ASB) traded down 0.41% during trading on Friday, reaching $19.58. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 217,270 shares. The stock has a 50-day moving average of $19.58 and a 200-day moving average of $18.36. The stock has a market cap of $2.91 billion, a P/E ratio of 16.88 and a beta of 1.32. Associated Banc-Corp has a 52-week low of $15.45 and a 52-week high of $20.90.
Associated Banc-Corp (NYSE:ASB) last released its earnings results on Thursday, July 21st. The company reported $0.31 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, meeting the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.31. Associated Banc-Corp had a net margin of 16.73% and a return on equity of 6.44%. Analysts predict that Associated Banc-Corp will post $1.23 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, September 15th. Investors of record on Thursday, September 1st were issued a dividend of $0.11 per share. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, August 30th. This represents a $0.44 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.24%. Associated Banc-Corp’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 37.93%.
In related news, insider James Yee sold 9,983 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Friday, August 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $19.19, for a total transaction of $191,573.77. Following the sale, the insider now owns 72,368 shares in the company, valued at $1,388,741.92. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, CFO Moral-Niles Christopher Del sold 8,052 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Monday, July 25th. The shares were sold at an average price of $18.55, for a total transaction of $149,364.60. Following the sale, the chief financial officer now owns 79,644 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,477,396.20. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 2.09% of the company’s stock.
A number of hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in ASB. Chicago Partners Investment Group LLC raised 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 valued at $108,000 after buying an additional 41 shares in the last quarter. Schonfeld Strategic Advisors LLC bought a new stake in shares of Associated Banc-Corp during the first quarter valued at about $183,000. LS Investment Advisors LLC raised its stake in shares of Associated Banc-Corp by 49.0% in the second quarter. LS Investment Advisors LLC now owns 11,828 shares of the company’s stock valued at $203,000 after buying an additional 3,889 shares during the period. Calvert Investment Management Inc. raised its stake in shares of Associated Banc-Corp by 1.5% in the second quarter. Calvert Investment Management Inc. now owns 12,014 shares of the company’s stock valued at $206,000 after buying an additional 179 shares during the period. Finally, M&T Bank Corp raised its stake in shares of Associated Banc-Corp by 4.3% in the second quarter. M&T Bank Corp now owns 13,303 shares of the company’s stock valued at $228,000 after buying an additional 550 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 74.28% of the company’s stock.
About Associated Banc-Corp
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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