Zacks: Meridian Bancorp, Inc. (EBSB) Receives Consensus Recommendation of “Buy” from Analysts

Meridian Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:EBSB) has received a consensus broker rating score of 2.00 (Buy) from the two brokers that cover the stock, Zacks Investment Research reports. One analyst has rated the stock with a hold rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. Meridian Bancorp’s rating score has improved by 33.3% in the last 90 days as a result of a number of analysts’ upgrades and downgrades.

Brokers have set a 1-year consensus target price of $20.00 for the company and are forecasting that the company will post $0.24 earnings per share for the current quarter, according to Zacks. Zacks has also assigned Meridian Bancorp an industry rank of 16 out of 265 based on the ratings given to related companies.

Several analysts recently commented on EBSB shares. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $24.50 target price on shares of Meridian Bancorp in a report on Friday, December 22nd. BidaskClub downgraded shares of Meridian Bancorp from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, January 11th.

Shares of Meridian Bancorp (NASDAQ:EBSB) traded down $0.15 during mid-day trading on Friday, hitting $21.45. 245,500 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 247,517. The company has a market cap of $1,165.76, a P/E ratio of 24.66 and a beta of 0.27. The company has a quick ratio of 1.23, a current ratio of 1.23 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.74. Meridian Bancorp has a 1-year low of $15.85 and a 1-year high of $21.85.

Meridian Bancorp (NASDAQ:EBSB) last announced its earnings results on Tuesday, October 24th. The savings and loans company reported $0.25 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.21 by $0.04. Meridian Bancorp had a net margin of 23.14% and a return on equity of 7.26%. equities research analysts anticipate that Meridian Bancorp will post 0.89 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, January 2nd. Investors of record on Tuesday, December 19th were issued a dividend of $0.05 per share. This is an increase from Meridian Bancorp’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.04. The ex-dividend date was Monday, December 18th. This represents a $0.20 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.93%. Meridian Bancorp’s payout ratio is presently 22.99%.

In other Meridian Bancorp news, Director Marilyn A. Censullo sold 11,929 shares of the business’s 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 at this link. Also, Director Richard F. Fernandez sold 14,801 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, November 16th. The shares were 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. Insiders have sold a total of 41,420 shares of company stock valued at $826,454 in the last ninety days. 5.10% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the business. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. boosted its holdings in Meridian Bancorp by 11.1% in the 4th quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 259,101 shares of the savings and loans company’s stock valued at $5,338,000 after purchasing an additional 25,801 shares during the period. Bank of Montreal Can boosted its holdings in Meridian Bancorp by 32.3% in the 4th quarter. Bank of Montreal Can now owns 27,628 shares of the savings and loans company’s stock valued at $569,000 after purchasing an additional 6,739 shares during the period. GSA Capital Partners LLP boosted its holdings in Meridian Bancorp by 37.4% in the 3rd quarter. GSA Capital Partners LLP now owns 71,050 shares of the savings and loans company’s stock valued at $1,325,000 after purchasing an additional 19,322 shares during the period. California Public Employees Retirement System boosted its holdings in Meridian Bancorp by 13.6% in the 3rd quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 31,947 shares of the savings and loans company’s stock valued at $596,000 after purchasing an additional 3,820 shares during the period. Finally, Cubist Systematic Strategies LLC bought a new stake in Meridian Bancorp in the 3rd quarter valued at about $259,000. 66.13% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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Meridian Bancorp Company Profile

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.

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