People’s United Financial, Inc. (NASDAQ:PBCT) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note issued to investors on Wednesday. The firm currently has a $21.00 target price on the bank’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s target price points to a potential upside of 12.54% from the stock’s previous close.

According to Zacks, “Shares of People’s United have outperformed the industry in the past three months. Also, the company has a decent earnings surprise history. It surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings in two of the trailing four quarters. In third-quarter 2017, the company reported an earnings beat driven by growth in revenues and lower provisions. Higher expenses were an undermining factor. People’s United is steadily growing through acquisitions, which is likely to continue in the near future, given its strong balance sheet position. Also, People’s United’s improving credit quality and easing margin pressure are tailwinds. The company’s steady capital deployment activities continue to enhance investors’ confidence. However, escalating expenses despite undertaking initiatives to curb costs remain a concern. Also, stretched valuation indicates the stock’s limited upside potential.”

PBCT has been the topic of a number of other research reports. Piper Jaffray Companies reiterated a “sell” rating and issued a $17.00 price objective on shares of People’s United Financial in a research note on Sunday, October 22nd. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reiterated a “hold” rating on shares of People’s United Financial in a research note on Monday, July 10th. Jefferies Group LLC reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $19.00 price objective on shares of People’s United Financial in a research note on Friday, August 18th. BidaskClub lowered shares of People’s United Financial from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research note on Monday, July 24th. Finally, Morgan Stanley reiterated an “equal weight” rating and issued a $17.75 price objective (up previously from $17.50) on shares of People’s United Financial in a research note on Friday, July 7th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have assigned a hold rating and one has issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. People’s United Financial presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $19.08.

Shares of People’s United Financial (NASDAQ:PBCT) traded down 0.59% on Wednesday, hitting $18.55. 1,484,826 shares of the stock traded hands. People’s United Financial has a one year low of $15.97 and a one year high of $20.13. The company has a market cap of $6.26 billion, a PE ratio of 20.75 and a beta of 0.84. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $18.01 and a 200 day moving average of $17.46.

People’s United Financial (NASDAQ:PBCT) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, October 19th. The bank reported $0.26 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.25 by $0.01. The firm had revenue of $373.90 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $374.59 million. People’s United Financial had a net margin of 19.32% and a return on equity of 6.28%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 11.2% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $0.24 earnings per share. Equities analysts anticipate that People’s United Financial will post $0.94 earnings per share for the current year.

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In related news, Director Janet M. Hansen sold 12,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Wednesday, September 20th. The shares were sold at an average price of $17.14, for a total transaction of $205,680.00. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 145,707 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,497,417.98. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, Director Mark W. Richards sold 26,732 shares of the stock in a transaction on Tuesday, October 24th. The stock was sold at an average price of $18.89, for a total transaction of $504,967.48. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 332,668 shares in the company, valued at $6,284,098.52. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 381,491 shares of company stock worth $7,173,247 over the last three months. 2.70% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in PBCT. OppenheimerFunds Inc. purchased a new stake in People’s United Financial during the first quarter worth $208,000. FMR LLC boosted its holdings in People’s United Financial by 6.5% during the first quarter. FMR LLC now owns 163,803 shares of the bank’s stock worth $2,981,000 after buying an additional 10,015 shares in the last quarter. Teachers Advisors LLC boosted its holdings in People’s United Financial by 16.9% during the first quarter. Teachers Advisors LLC now owns 436,464 shares of the bank’s stock worth $7,944,000 after buying an additional 62,990 shares in the last quarter. Thrivent Financial For Lutherans boosted its holdings in People’s United Financial by 16.5% during the first quarter. Thrivent Financial For Lutherans now owns 12,580 shares of the bank’s stock worth $229,000 after buying an additional 1,780 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Morgan Stanley boosted its holdings in People’s United Financial by 16.2% during the first quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 1,573,328 shares of the bank’s stock worth $28,634,000 after buying an additional 219,099 shares in the last quarter. 76.90% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About People’s United Financial

People’s United Financial, Inc is a bank holding company and a financial holding company of People’s United Bank (the Bank). The Bank is engaged in providing commercial banking, retail banking and wealth management services to individual, corporate and municipal customers. The Company operates through two segments: Commercial Banking and Retail Banking.

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Analyst Recommendations for People`s United Financial (NASDAQ:PBCT)

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