Westamerica Bancorporation (NASDAQ:WABC) was upgraded by stock analysts at BidaskClub from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note issued to investors on Saturday.

Westamerica Bancorporation (NASDAQ:WABC) traded up 1.00% on Friday, hitting $51.55. 47,166 shares of the stock were exchanged. The firm has a market cap of $1.36 billion, a PE ratio of 22.12 and a beta of 1.06. Westamerica Bancorporation has a 52-week low of $47.31 and a 52-week high of $65.34. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $53.44 and its 200 day moving average price is $54.87.

Westamerica Bancorporation (NASDAQ:WABC) last released its earnings results on Thursday, July 20th. The financial services provider reported $0.60 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.56 by $0.04. The firm had revenue of $47.90 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $46.70 million. Westamerica Bancorporation had a return on equity of 10.57% and a net margin of 33.83%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was down .6% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $0.57 earnings per share. Equities research analysts forecast that Westamerica Bancorporation will post $2.32 earnings per share for the current year.

Westamerica Bancorporation declared that its board has approved a share repurchase program on Thursday, July 27th that permits the company to repurchase 1,750,000 outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization permits the financial services provider to repurchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase programs are generally an indication that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.

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In other news, Director Edward B. Sylvester sold 1,260 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, July 31st. The stock was sold at an average price of $54.40, for a total value of $68,544.00. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 72,490 shares in the company, valued at approximately $3,943,456. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Company insiders own 4.90% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. BlackRock Inc. increased its position in Westamerica Bancorporation by 48,285.6% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 3,192,483 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $178,235,000 after buying an additional 3,185,885 shares during the period. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its position in Westamerica Bancorporation by 16.1% in the first quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 2,551,330 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $142,440,000 after buying an additional 354,294 shares during the period. Deprince Race & Zollo Inc. increased its position in Westamerica Bancorporation by 218.4% in the second quarter. Deprince Race & Zollo Inc. now owns 461,063 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $25,838,000 after buying an additional 316,245 shares during the period. Russell Investments Group Ltd. increased its position in Westamerica Bancorporation by 218.7% in the second quarter. Russell Investments Group Ltd. now owns 207,817 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $11,645,000 after buying an additional 142,605 shares during the period. Finally, State Street Corp increased its position in Westamerica Bancorporation by 17.0% in the first quarter. State Street Corp now owns 857,733 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $47,882,000 after buying an additional 124,661 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 88.67% of the company’s stock.

About Westamerica Bancorporation

Westamerica Bancorporation is a bank holding company. The Company provides a range of banking services to individual and corporate customers in Northern and Central California through its subsidiary bank, Westamerica Bank. The communities served are located in Northern and Central California, from Mendocino, Lake and Nevada Counties in the north to Kern County in the south.

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