Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of United Community Financial Corp (NASDAQ:UCFC) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research report released on Wednesday morning.

According to Zacks, “United Community Financial Corporation is a very traditional savings and loan company. While the company intends to remain committed to financing home ownership, it also believes it must gradually expand the types of loan products it offers in order to meet the needs of its market area and to improve profitability. The company began to commit substantial resources to the commercial lending area, which is headed and staffed by individuals with very extensive commercial banking experience. “

Separately, KLR Group lowered United Community Financial Corp from a hold rating to a reduce rating in a research note on Thursday, December 15th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, one has assigned a hold rating, three have given a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has an average rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $11.25.

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United Community Financial Corp (NASDAQ:UCFC) opened at 8.56 on Wednesday. United Community Financial Corp has a 12-month low of $5.53 and a 12-month high of $9.50. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $8.66 and a 200 day moving average price of $8.09. The stock has a market cap of $425.41 million, a P/E ratio of 21.40 and a beta of 0.81.

United Community Financial Corp (NASDAQ:UCFC) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, January 24th. The company reported $0.12 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.11 by $0.01. United Community Financial Corp had a return on equity of 7.65% and a net margin of 20.29%. On average, analysts forecast that United Community Financial Corp will post $0.53 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, February 22nd. Shareholders of record on Friday, February 10th were issued a dividend of $0.03 per share. This represents a $0.12 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.40%. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, February 8th. United Community Financial Corp’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 30.00%.

In other United Community Financial Corp news, General Counsel Jude J. Nohra sold 4,500 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, March 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $8.78, for a total transaction of $39,510.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the general counsel now owns 76,021 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $667,464.38. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, Director Richard J. Schiraldi acquired 5,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Monday, March 13th. The shares were bought at an average cost of $8.50 per share, with a total value of $42,500.00. Following the acquisition, the director now directly owns 7,399 shares in the company, valued at $62,891.50. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. 3.88% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP increased its stake in shares of United Community Financial Corp by 1.4% in the fourth quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 2,965,209 shares of the company’s stock worth $26,510,000 after buying an additional 42,231 shares during the last quarter. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company acquired a new stake in shares of United Community Financial Corp during the third quarter worth $16,800,000. Renaissance Technologies LLC increased its stake in shares of United Community Financial Corp by 4.6% in the fourth quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 1,153,318 shares of the company’s stock worth $10,311,000 after buying an additional 50,314 shares during the last quarter. Deprince Race & Zollo Inc. increased its stake in shares of United Community Financial Corp by 8.2% in the third quarter. Deprince Race & Zollo Inc. now owns 808,528 shares of the company’s stock worth $5,749,000 after buying an additional 61,383 shares during the last quarter. Finally, State Street Corp increased its stake in shares of United Community Financial Corp by 4.5% in the fourth quarter. State Street Corp now owns 729,357 shares of the company’s stock worth $6,520,000 after buying an additional 31,454 shares during the last quarter. 60.69% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

United Community Financial Corp Company Profile

United Community Financial Corp. is a unitary thrift holding company for The Home Savings and Loan Company of Youngstown, Ohio (the Bank). The Bank operates through banking services segment. The Bank conducts its business through over 30 retail banking offices and loan production centers located throughout Ohio and western Pennsylvania.

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