Ameris Bancorp (ABCB) Downgraded to “Hold” at ValuEngine

ValuEngine downgraded shares of Ameris Bancorp (NASDAQ:ABCB) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report issued on Wednesday morning.

Several other research firms also recently weighed in on ABCB. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Ameris Bancorp from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report on Monday, March 12th. BidaskClub downgraded shares of Ameris Bancorp from a strong-buy rating to a buy rating in a report on Tuesday, March 27th. Sandler O’Neill set a $57.00 price target on shares of Ameris Bancorp and gave the stock a hold rating in a research note on Monday, January 29th. Finally, SunTrust Banks raised their price target on shares of Ameris Bancorp from $10.00 to $65.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a research note on Monday, January 29th. Five research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and three have given a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average target price of $55.33.

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NASDAQ:ABCB opened at $51.85 on Wednesday. The company has a quick ratio of 0.95, a current ratio of 0.98 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.42. Ameris Bancorp has a twelve month low of $41.05 and a twelve month high of $59.05. The stock has a market cap of $1,985.17, a price-to-earnings ratio of 20.91 and a beta of 1.21.

Ameris Bancorp (NASDAQ:ABCB) last posted its earnings results on Friday, January 26th. The bank reported $0.63 earnings per share for the quarter, meeting the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.63. Ameris Bancorp had a net margin of 18.44% and a return on equity of 11.73%. The firm had revenue of $89.90 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $96.28 million. During the same period last year, the firm posted $0.63 EPS. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 3.1% on a year-over-year basis. research analysts forecast that Ameris Bancorp will post 3.54 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, April 10th. Shareholders of record on Friday, March 30th were paid a dividend of $0.10 per share. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, March 28th. This represents a $0.40 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.77%. Ameris Bancorp’s dividend payout ratio is currently 16.13%.

In related news, COO Dennis J. Zember, Jr. sold 5,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, February 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $54.81, for a total value of $274,050.00. Following the sale, the chief operating officer now directly owns 156,063 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $8,553,813.03. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, President Lawton E. Bassett III sold 823 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, February 14th. The stock was sold at an average price of $53.15, for a total transaction of $43,742.45. Following the completion of the sale, the president now directly owns 19,408 shares in the company, valued at $1,031,535.20. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 46,159 shares of company stock worth $2,575,646 over the last ninety days. 3.07% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in ABCB. Stephens Investment Management Group LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Ameris Bancorp in the fourth quarter worth approximately $13,543,000. BlackRock Inc. boosted its position in shares of Ameris Bancorp by 3.8% in the fourth quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 4,746,644 shares of the bank’s stock worth $228,788,000 after acquiring an additional 171,889 shares during the last quarter. Kennedy Capital Management Inc. boosted its position in shares of Ameris Bancorp by 30.5% in the fourth quarter. Kennedy Capital Management Inc. now owns 684,375 shares of the bank’s stock worth $32,987,000 after acquiring an additional 160,148 shares during the last quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp boosted its position in shares of Ameris Bancorp by 18.6% in the fourth quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 880,352 shares of the bank’s stock worth $42,433,000 after acquiring an additional 138,217 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Boston Partners acquired a new stake in shares of Ameris Bancorp in the fourth quarter worth approximately $5,817,000. 83.09% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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Ameris Bancorp Company Profile

Ameris Bancorp operates as the holding company for Ameris Bank that provides banking services to retail and commercial customers primarily in Georgia, Alabama, Florida, and South Carolina. The company operates through five segments: Banking Division, Retail Mortgage Division, Warehouse Lending Division, Small Business Administration Division, and Premium Finance Division.

To view ValuEngine’s full report, visit ValuEngine’s official website.

Analyst Recommendations for Ameris Bancorp (NASDAQ:ABCB)

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