United Community Financial (NASDAQ:UCFC) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Saturday. The brokerage presently has a $10.00 price target on the savings and loans company’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price target points to a potential upside of 6.50% from the company’s current price.

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. “

Other research analysts also recently issued reports about the company. ValuEngine downgraded United Community Financial from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, October 6th. Boenning Scattergood downgraded United Community Financial from an “outperform” rating to a “neutral” rating in a report on Wednesday, October 18th. Finally, BidaskClub downgraded United Community Financial from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Tuesday, December 19th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have assigned a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the stock. United Community Financial presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $10.33.

Shares of United Community Financial (NASDAQ UCFC) opened at $9.39 on Friday. The company has a quick ratio of 1.01, a current ratio of 1.06 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.13. United Community Financial has a fifty-two week low of $7.81 and a fifty-two week high of $10.23. The firm has a market capitalization of $465.85, a P/E ratio of 20.87 and a beta of 0.53.

In other United Community Financial news, EVP Matthew T. Garrity sold 35,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Friday, December 15th. The stock was sold at an average price of $9.47, for a total transaction of $331,450.00. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 43,993 shares in the company, valued at approximately $416,613.71. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Insiders have sold a total of 36,200 shares of company stock worth $342,896 over the last 90 days. 3.56% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in UCFC. AJO LP purchased a new position in United Community Financial during the 2nd quarter worth $1,035,000. State Street Corp increased its holdings in United Community Financial by 14.7% during the 2nd quarter. State Street Corp now owns 847,383 shares of the savings and loans company’s stock worth $7,041,000 after purchasing an additional 108,482 shares during the period. Northern Trust Corp increased its holdings in United Community Financial by 16.2% during the 2nd quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 671,255 shares of the savings and loans company’s stock worth $5,578,000 after purchasing an additional 93,550 shares during the period. JPMorgan Chase & Co. increased its holdings in United Community Financial by 38.0% during the 2nd quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 266,924 shares of the savings and loans company’s stock worth $2,218,000 after purchasing an additional 73,475 shares during the period. Finally, Foundry Partners LLC increased its holdings in United Community Financial by 8.4% during the 3rd quarter. Foundry Partners LLC now owns 633,050 shares of the savings and loans company’s stock worth $6,077,000 after purchasing an additional 48,900 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 59.63% of the company’s stock.

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United Community Financial Company Profile

United Community Financial Corp. is financial services holding company. The Company’s subsidiaries include The Home Savings and Loan Company of Youngstown, Ohio (Home Savings or the Bank), HSB Insurance, LLC and HSB Capital, LLC. The principal business of Home Savings is the origination of mortgage loans, including construction loans, on residential and nonresidential real estate located in Home Savings’ primary market area.

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