East West Bancorp (EWBC) Upgraded to “Hold” by Zacks Investment Research

East West Bancorp (NASDAQ:EWBC) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report released on Thursday, Zacks.com reports.

According to Zacks, “East West Bancorp's shares have underperformed the industry over the past six months. Yet, the company has an impressive earnings surprise history. It surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate in three of the trailing four quarters. The company’s first-quarter 2019 results were adversely impacted by lower non-interest income, and rise in expenses and provisions. Continued rise in operating expenses will likely hurt profitability to some extent. As the company continues to make investments in technology, overall expenses are bound to increase. Moreover, deteriorating credit quality remains a major near-term concern and will likely hurt its financials. However, increase in loans and deposits along with relatively higher interest rates and strong balance sheet position are expected to support the company’s revenue growth. Further, the company’s steady dividend payments are impressive and will enhance shareholder value.”

Other equities research analysts also recently issued research reports about the company. ValuEngine upgraded East West Bancorp from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Friday, May 3rd. TheStreet upgraded East West Bancorp from a “c+” rating to a “b” rating in a research note on Thursday, February 7th. Wedbush raised their price objective on East West Bancorp from $59.00 to $62.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a research note on Friday, March 8th. Finally, BidaskClub raised East West Bancorp from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, January 25th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, two have assigned a hold rating and seven have issued a buy rating to the company. The company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $64.63.

NASDAQ EWBC traded down $1.16 during trading on Thursday, reaching $45.44. 26,412 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 800,991. East West Bancorp has a fifty-two week low of $40.05 and a fifty-two week high of $73.98. The firm has a market capitalization of $6.78 billion, a PE ratio of 9.75, a PEG ratio of 0.91 and a beta of 1.55. The company has a current ratio of 1.02, a quick ratio of 1.02 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.11.

East West Bancorp (NASDAQ:EWBC) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, April 18th. The financial services provider reported $1.16 EPS for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.22 by ($0.06). East West Bancorp had a return on equity of 15.78% and a net margin of 35.42%. The business had revenue of $404.59 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $411.11 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business posted $1.13 earnings per share. Research analysts anticipate that East West Bancorp will post 4.99 EPS for the current year.

In other East West Bancorp news, Director Jack C. Liu sold 2,108 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Monday, March 4th. The stock was sold at an average price of $55.20, for a total value of $116,361.60. Following the sale, the director now owns 18,857 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,040,906.40. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Company insiders own 0.61% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund increased its holdings in shares of East West Bancorp by 4,203.9% in the fourth quarter. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund now owns 3,209,902 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $74,000 after purchasing an additional 3,135,320 shares during the period. William Blair Investment Management LLC boosted its stake in shares of East West Bancorp by 132.7% during the 1st quarter. William Blair Investment Management LLC now owns 3,757,889 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $180,266,000 after acquiring an additional 2,142,829 shares during the last quarter. Norges Bank purchased a new position in shares of East West Bancorp during the 4th quarter worth $48,178,000. Principal Financial Group Inc. boosted its stake in shares of East West Bancorp by 46.5% during the 1st quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 3,159,327 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $151,555,000 after acquiring an additional 1,002,529 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Two Sigma Advisers LP boosted its stake in shares of East West Bancorp by 145.4% during the 4th quarter. Two Sigma Advisers LP now owns 1,074,703 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $46,782,000 after acquiring an additional 636,693 shares during the last quarter. 88.61% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

East West Bancorp Company Profile

East West Bancorp, Inc operates as the bank holding company for East West Bank that provides a range of personal and commercial banking services to businesses and individuals in the United States and Greater China. It operates in three segments: Consumer and Business Banking, Commercial Banking, and Other.

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