Howard Bancorp (HBMD) Upgraded to “Buy” at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Howard Bancorp (NASDAQ:HBMD) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note published on Tuesday morning. They currently have $17.00 price objective on the financial services provider’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Howard Bancorp, Inc., headquartered in Ellicott City, Maryland, operates as a holding company for Howard Bank that provides a range of commercial and retail banking services in Maryland. It offers various deposits products, such as community business, business relationship, business solutions, super, howard relationship, and howard maximum checking accounts; individual retirement accounts; business, junior, and personal savings accounts; anniversary, incentive, and business money market accounts; and certificates of deposits. The company’s loan portfolio comprises commercial construction, commercial real estate, home equity, and consumer installment loans; and commercial and unsecured lines of credit. Howard Bancorp also provides business and personal online banking and Web BillPay services, ATM cards, business credit cards, and cash management, lockbox processing, and wire transfers services. “

Other equities analysts have also issued reports about the company. Stephens reaffirmed a buy rating and issued a $18.00 price objective on shares of Howard Bancorp in a research note on Wednesday, August 1st. ValuEngine raised Howard Bancorp from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note on Monday, August 13th. Raymond James lowered Howard Bancorp from an outperform rating to a market perform rating in a research note on Tuesday, July 10th. Finally, BidaskClub lowered Howard Bancorp from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note on Saturday, October 13th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, two have issued a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the stock. Howard Bancorp has a consensus rating of Hold and an average price target of $19.25.

Shares of NASDAQ HBMD traded down $0.41 during midday trading on Tuesday, hitting $15.48. The stock had a trading volume of 8,822 shares, compared to its average volume of 36,669. The firm has a market capitalization of $301.15 million, a P/E ratio of 19.59 and a beta of 0.12. Howard Bancorp has a 1-year low of $13.73 and a 1-year high of $24.20. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.44, a current ratio of 1.01 and a quick ratio of 0.98.

Howard Bancorp (NASDAQ:HBMD) last released its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, October 24th. The financial services provider reported $0.21 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.24 by ($0.03). The firm had revenue of $22.50 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $22.36 million. Howard Bancorp had a negative net margin of 2.37% and a positive return on equity of 4.10%. On average, equities research analysts expect that Howard Bancorp will post 0.66 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In related news, President Robert D. Jr. Kunisch bought 5,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, August 23rd. The shares were acquired at an average cost of $17.16 per share, for a total transaction of $85,800.00. The purchase was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, Director Richard G. Arnold bought 1,493 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, September 6th. The shares were bought at an average price of $17.26 per share, for a total transaction of $25,769.18. Following the completion of the acquisition, the director now owns 130,284 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,248,701.84. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders have purchased 10,603 shares of company stock worth $184,837. Company insiders own 10.59% of the company’s stock.

Several large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. BlackRock Inc. raised its holdings in shares of Howard Bancorp by 1.2% during the 3rd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 656,343 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $11,618,000 after buying an additional 7,606 shares during the period. WMS Partners LLC increased its holdings in Howard Bancorp by 4.0% during the 3rd quarter. WMS Partners LLC now owns 129,680 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $2,295,000 after purchasing an additional 5,000 shares during the last quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. increased its holdings in Howard Bancorp by 6.0% during the 3rd quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 72,700 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $1,287,000 after purchasing an additional 4,100 shares during the last quarter. Northern Trust Corp increased its holdings in Howard Bancorp by 35.2% during the 2nd quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 130,506 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $2,349,000 after purchasing an additional 33,944 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Patriot Financial Partners GP LP purchased a new stake in Howard Bancorp during the 2nd quarter worth approximately $29,923,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 52.30% of the company’s stock.

About Howard Bancorp

Howard Bancorp, Inc operates as the bank holding company for Howard Bank that commercial banking, mortgage banking, and consumer finance products and services to businesses, business owners, professionals, and other consumers. The company offers various consumer and business deposit products, including demand deposits, money market accounts, savings accounts, individual retirement accounts, and commercial and retail checking accounts, as well as certificates of deposit.

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