Associated Banc-Corp (NYSE:ASB) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Wednesday.

According to Zacks, “Associated Banc-Corp’s shares have outperformed the industry in the last three months. The company has an impressive earnings surprise history, having surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate in three of the trailing four quarters. The company’s third-quarter 2017 earnings benefited from higher net interest income and a fall in credit costs, partially offset by a marginal increase in expenses and lower fee income. Higher interest rates, rise in loan demand and improving asset quality should support its profitability. Acquisition of Whitnell and deal to acquire Bank Mutual are expected to be accretive its earnings going forward. However, mounting expenses mainly due to continued investment in franchise, and merger and integration costs remains a key near-term concern. Also, increased dependence on commercial loans and lack of geographic exposure make us apprehensive.”

ASB has been the topic of several other research reports. Robert W. Baird reissued a “hold” rating and set a $25.00 target price on shares of Associated Banc-Corp in a research report on Sunday, October 1st. SunTrust Banks, Inc. set a $26.00 target price on shares of Associated Banc-Corp and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Saturday, October 21st. Jefferies Group LLC reissued a “hold” rating and set a $27.00 target price on shares of Associated Banc-Corp in a research report on Friday, July 14th. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reissued a “hold” rating and set a $26.00 target price on shares of Associated Banc-Corp in a research report on Tuesday, August 22nd. Finally, BidaskClub cut shares of Associated Banc-Corp from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research report on Saturday, August 12th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating and thirteen have issued a hold rating to the company. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $25.82.

Associated Banc-Corp (NYSE:ASB) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, October 19th. The bank reported $0.41 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.36 by $0.05. Associated Banc-Corp had a net margin of 19.54% and a return on equity of 7.81%. The firm had revenue of $276.02 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $276.88 million. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $0.31 EPS.

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In related news, Director William R. Hutchinson sold 4,632 shares of Associated Banc-Corp stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, October 25th. The shares were sold at an average price of $25.70, for a total value of $119,042.40. Following the sale, the director now owns 91,209 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,344,071.30. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, CEO Philip B. Flynn sold 10,000 shares of Associated Banc-Corp stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, October 30th. The stock was sold at an average price of $25.25, for a total transaction of $252,500.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 127,585 shares in the company, valued at approximately $3,221,521.25. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 35,350 shares of company stock worth $859,541 in the last ninety days. 1.80% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Several large investors have recently bought and sold shares of ASB. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. raised its holdings in shares of Associated Banc-Corp by 13.1% in the 1st quarter. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. now owns 113,463 shares of the bank’s stock worth $2,768,000 after purchasing an additional 13,132 shares during the period. Wellington Management Group LLP raised its holdings in shares of Associated Banc-Corp by 56.5% in the 1st quarter. Wellington Management Group LLP now owns 119,838 shares of the bank’s stock worth $2,924,000 after purchasing an additional 43,268 shares during the period. Teachers Advisors LLC raised its holdings in shares of Associated Banc-Corp by 2.9% in the 1st quarter. Teachers Advisors LLC now owns 173,707 shares of the bank’s stock worth $4,238,000 after purchasing an additional 4,873 shares during the period. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its holdings in shares of Associated Banc-Corp by 6.0% in the 1st quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 12,490,743 shares of the bank’s stock worth $304,775,000 after purchasing an additional 707,633 shares during the period. Finally, Geode Capital Management LLC raised its holdings in shares of Associated Banc-Corp by 7.6% in the 1st quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 1,165,582 shares of the bank’s stock worth $28,440,000 after purchasing an additional 81,831 shares during the period. 76.98% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

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 non-banking 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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Analyst Recommendations for Associated Banc-Corp (NYSE:ASB)

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