Westamerica Bancorporation (WABC) Receives “Hold” Rating from Maxim Group

Westamerica Bancorporation (NASDAQ:WABC)‘s stock had its “hold” rating reissued by stock analysts at Maxim Group in a report released on Friday.

The analysts wrote, “WABC reported 4Q17 EPS of $0.16, which included four non-recurring items (a DTA writedown, a low-income housing LP writedown, a loss contingency, and securities gains) which reduced EPS by a net $0.42. WABC’s core performance metrics were, as usual, very strong. WABC’s deposit franchise remained its greatest strength. However, lack of loan growth remains WABC’s greatest challenge, in our view, in spite of period-end loans growing slightly from 3Q17. We are raising our 2018 EPS estimate (which includes stabilization of loan balances) to $2.65, from $2.30, mainly based on a lower tax rate.””

Several other brokerages have also recently weighed in on WABC. Sandler O’Neill restated a “sell” rating and issued a $54.00 price objective on shares of Westamerica Bancorporation in a report on Thursday, January 4th. BidaskClub downgraded shares of Westamerica Bancorporation from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Saturday, January 6th. Finally, Keefe, Bruyette & Woods restated a “hold” rating and set a $58.00 price objective on shares of Westamerica Bancorporation in a research report on Friday, December 22nd.

Westamerica Bancorporation (WABC) traded up $0.70 during mid-day trading on Friday, hitting $60.47. The stock had a trading volume of 118,100 shares, compared to its average volume of 80,133. The firm has a market cap of $1,574.68, a P/E ratio of 26.29 and a beta of 1.07. Westamerica Bancorporation has a one year low of $49.38 and a one year high of $64.26.

Westamerica Bancorporation (NASDAQ:WABC) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, October 19th. The financial services provider reported $0.57 EPS for the quarter, hitting the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.57. The business had revenue of $45.22 million for the quarter. Westamerica Bancorporation had a return on equity of 10.28% and a net margin of 33.38%.

In related news, CFO John A. Thorson sold 12,468 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, October 26th. The shares were sold at an average price of $58.80, for a total value of $733,118.40. Following the sale, the chief financial officer now owns 12,468 shares in the company, valued at approximately $733,118.40. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, VP James J. Schneck sold 6,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, October 26th. The stock was sold at an average price of $58.86, for a total transaction of $353,160.00. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now owns 6,025 shares in the company, valued at approximately $354,631.50. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders sold 56,868 shares of company stock worth $3,340,734. 4.90% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

A number of hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of WABC. Amalgamated Bank bought a new stake in Westamerica Bancorporation in the 3rd quarter worth about $204,000. Wealthsource Partners LLC bought a new position in shares of Westamerica Bancorporation during the 2nd quarter valued at approximately $208,000. Janney Montgomery Scott LLC bought a new position in shares of Westamerica Bancorporation during the 3rd quarter valued at approximately $229,000. Crossmark Global Holdings Inc. bought a new position in shares of Westamerica Bancorporation during the 3rd quarter valued at approximately $305,000. Finally, Piedmont Investment Advisors LLC bought a new position in shares of Westamerica Bancorporation during the 2nd quarter valued at approximately $319,000. 85.95% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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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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