Shares of Meridian Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:EBSB) have been assigned a consensus broker rating score of 2.00 (Buy) from the two brokers that provide coverage for the stock, Zacks Investment Research reports. One analyst has rated the stock with a hold recommendation and one has issued a strong buy recommendation on the company. Meridian Bancorp’s rating score has improved by 33.3% from 90 days ago as a result of various analysts’ ratings changes.

Brokers have set a one year consensus price target of $20.00 for the company and are forecasting that the company will post $0.24 EPS for the current quarter, according to Zacks. Zacks has also assigned Meridian Bancorp an industry rank of 83 out of 265 based on the ratings given to its competitors.

EBSB has been the subject of several recent research reports. BidaskClub downgraded shares of Meridian Bancorp from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, December 7th. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $19.00 price objective on shares of Meridian Bancorp in a research note on Thursday, August 31st.

Shares of Meridian Bancorp (NASDAQ EBSB) opened at $19.90 on Friday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.74, a current ratio of 1.23 and a quick ratio of 1.23. The firm has a market cap of $1,074.01, a price-to-earnings ratio of 22.87 and a beta of 0.27. Meridian Bancorp has a one year low of $15.85 and a one year high of $20.73.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, January 2nd. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, December 19th will be paid a dividend of $0.05 per share. This represents a $0.20 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.01%. This is an increase from Meridian Bancorp’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.04. The ex-dividend date is Monday, December 18th. Meridian Bancorp’s dividend payout ratio is 18.39%.

In related news, Director Marilyn A. Censullo sold 11,929 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Monday, November 27th. The shares were sold at an average price of $19.95, for a total value of $237,983.55. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, Director Richard F. Fernandez sold 14,801 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Thursday, November 16th. The stock was sold at an average price of $19.75, for a total transaction of $292,319.75. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders have sold 41,420 shares of company stock valued at $826,454. Insiders own 5.10% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA grew its holdings in Meridian Bancorp by 2,313.8% in the second quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA now owns 5,938 shares of the savings and loans company’s stock worth $100,000 after purchasing an additional 5,692 shares during the period. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio purchased a new stake in Meridian Bancorp in the second quarter worth about $126,000. Banc Funds Co. LLC purchased a new stake in Meridian Bancorp in the second quarter worth about $169,000. Wolverine Trading LLC purchased a new stake in Meridian Bancorp in the second quarter worth about $173,000. Finally, Simplex Trading LLC grew its holdings in Meridian Bancorp by 108.6% in the third quarter. Simplex Trading LLC now owns 10,298 shares of the savings and loans company’s stock worth $192,000 after purchasing an additional 5,362 shares during the period. 66.13% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

ILLEGAL ACTIVITY NOTICE: This news story was reported by American Banking News and is owned by of American Banking News. If you are viewing this news story on another domain, it was copied illegally and republished in violation of international copyright and trademark legislation. The legal version of this news story can be read at https://www.americanbankingnews.com/2017/12/15/zacks-meridian-bancorp-inc-ebsb-given-consensus-recommendation-of-buy-by-analysts.html.

About Meridian Bancorp

Meridian Bancorp Inc, formerly Meridian Interstate Bancorp, Inc, is a mid-tier stock holding company of East Boston Savings Bank (the Bank). The Bank is a state-chartered stock savings bank that operates from 24 full-service locations and two loan centers in the Boston metropolitan area. East Boston Savings Bank operates eight of its full-service locations and a loan center under the name Mt.

Get a free copy of the Zacks research report on Meridian Bancorp (EBSB)

For more information about research offerings from Zacks Investment Research, visit Zacks.com

Receive News & Ratings for Meridian Bancorp Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for Meridian Bancorp and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.