Howard Bancorp (HBMD) Lifted to “Outperform” at Merion Capital Group

Howard Bancorp (NASDAQ:HBMD) was upgraded by investment analysts at Merion Capital Group from a “neutral” rating to an “outperform” rating in a note issued to investors on Friday. The firm currently has a $23.00 target price on the financial services provider’s stock. Merion Capital Group’s target price would suggest a potential upside of 21.05% from the stock’s current price. The analysts noted that the move was a valuation call.

A number of other research analysts have also weighed in on the stock. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Howard Bancorp from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $25.00 price target on the stock in a research note on Wednesday, January 10th. Raymond James Financial reaffirmed an “outperform” rating and issued a $23.00 price target (up previously from $22.00) on shares of Howard Bancorp in a research note on Friday, October 20th. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $23.00.

Shares of Howard Bancorp (NASDAQ HBMD) traded up $0.25 on Friday, reaching $19.00. 22,062 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 21,556. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.05, a quick ratio of 0.95 and a current ratio of 1.00. Howard Bancorp has a 1 year low of $16.70 and a 1 year high of $24.20. The company has a market capitalization of $188.97, a price-to-earnings ratio of 25.33 and a beta of 0.10.

Howard Bancorp (NASDAQ:HBMD) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Monday, January 22nd. The financial services provider reported $0.21 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.22 by ($0.01). Howard Bancorp had a net margin of 11.51% and a return on equity of 5.76%. The company had revenue of $14.53 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $15.35 million. research analysts forecast that Howard Bancorp will post 1.29 EPS for the current year.

In other news, Director Robert J. Hartson sold 7,500 shares of Howard Bancorp stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, December 19th. The shares were sold at an average price of $23.15, for a total value of $173,625.00. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 159,276 shares in the company, valued at $3,687,239.40. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. 10.59% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. BlackRock Inc. raised its holdings in shares of Howard Bancorp by 1.0% in the fourth quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 403,346 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $8,874,000 after purchasing an additional 3,901 shares during the last quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN raised its holdings in shares of Howard Bancorp by 45.3% in the fourth quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 44,347 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $976,000 after purchasing an additional 13,821 shares during the last quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. raised its holdings in shares of Howard Bancorp by 44.4% in the fourth quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 62,535 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $1,376,000 after purchasing an additional 19,235 shares during the last quarter. SG Americas Securities LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Howard Bancorp in the fourth quarter valued at approximately $150,000. Finally, Maltese Capital Management LLC raised its holdings in shares of Howard Bancorp by 5.5% in the third quarter. Maltese Capital Management LLC now owns 183,900 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $3,844,000 after purchasing an additional 9,599 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 64.56% of the company’s stock.

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About Howard Bancorp

Howard Bancorp, Inc is the bank holding company of Howard Bank. The Company’s primary business is to own all of the capital stock of Howard Bank. The Company operates through Community Banking segment. Howard Bank is a trust company, which has approximately four operating subsidiaries. The Company offers a range of services to its customers, including wire transfer services, automated teller machine (ATM) and check cards, ATMs at all of its service branch locations, safe deposit boxes at all service locations and credit cards through a third-party processor.

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