First Busey Co. (BUSE) Receives Consensus Recommendation of “Hold” from Analysts

First Busey Co. (NASDAQ:BUSE) has been assigned a consensus rating of “Hold” from the six brokerages that are currently covering the firm, Marketbeat Ratings reports. Five analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and one has issued a buy rating on the company. The average 1-year target price among analysts that have issued ratings on the stock in the last year is $33.25.

Several research firms have recently commented on BUSE. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of First Busey from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, October 3rd. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reissued a “hold” rating and set a $32.00 target price on shares of First Busey in a research report on Thursday, October 26th. ValuEngine downgraded shares of First Busey from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, November 10th. BidaskClub downgraded shares of First Busey from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, December 7th. Finally, FBR & Co reaffirmed a “neutral” rating and issued a $34.00 price objective (up from $32.00) on shares of First Busey in a research report on Wednesday, October 25th.

Shares of First Busey (BUSE) opened at $32.40 on Tuesday. The company has a current ratio of 0.93, a quick ratio of 0.90 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.27. The company has a market cap of $1,570.00, a PE ratio of 21.32, a PEG ratio of 2.45 and a beta of 0.99. First Busey has a 52-week low of $27.33 and a 52-week high of $32.88.

First Busey (NASDAQ:BUSE) last posted its earnings results on Tuesday, October 24th. The bank reported $0.45 EPS for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.46 by ($0.01). First Busey had a return on equity of 10.42% and a net margin of 22.02%. research analysts anticipate that First Busey will post 1.69 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, February 2nd. Shareholders of record on Friday, January 26th will be given a $0.20 dividend. This represents a $0.80 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.47%. This is an increase from First Busey’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.18. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, January 25th. First Busey’s dividend payout ratio is presently 47.37%.

In other First Busey news, Director George Barr sold 1,665 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, October 27th. The shares were sold at an average price of $32.25, for a total value of $53,696.25. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 64,088 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,066,838. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Insiders acquired a total of 623 shares of company stock valued at $18,967 over the last ninety days. 9.60% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

A number of hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the business. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA boosted its stake in First Busey by 799.2% in the second quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA now owns 4,460 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $131,000 after acquiring an additional 3,964 shares during the last quarter. Citigroup Inc. boosted its stake in First Busey by 45.5% in the second quarter. Citigroup Inc. now owns 6,422 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $188,000 after acquiring an additional 2,009 shares during the last quarter. Meeder Asset Management Inc. boosted its stake in First Busey by 143.6% in the third quarter. Meeder Asset Management Inc. now owns 5,998 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $188,000 after acquiring an additional 3,536 shares during the last quarter. Magnetar Financial LLC purchased a new position in First Busey in the third quarter valued at about $204,000. Finally, Vestor Capital LLC purchased a new position in First Busey in the third quarter valued at about $224,000. 46.20% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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About First Busey

First Busey Corporation (First Busey) is a financial holding company. The Company offers a range of financial services through its banking and non-banking subsidiaries. The Company operates through three segments: Banking, Remittance Processing and Wealth Management. The Banking segment provides a range of banking services to individual and corporate customers through its branch network in downstate Illinois, St.

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