East West Bancorp (EWBC) Upgraded to “Hold” at 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 issued on Friday, 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. Also, consistent dividend payments will continue to enhance shareholder value.”

A number of other analysts have also weighed in on EWBC. BidaskClub lowered shares of East West Bancorp from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Tuesday. ValuEngine raised shares of East West Bancorp from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Friday, May 3rd. Wedbush upped their target price on shares of East West Bancorp from $59.00 to $62.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a report on Friday, March 8th. Finally, TheStreet raised shares of East West Bancorp from a “c+” rating to a “b” rating in a research note on Thursday, February 7th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, two have given a hold rating and seven have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $64.63.

East West Bancorp stock traded down $0.42 during midday trading on Friday, reaching $47.46. 19,292 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 904,867. The company has a current ratio of 1.02, a quick ratio of 1.02 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.11. The firm has a market capitalization of $6.90 billion, a PE ratio of 10.18, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 0.90 and a beta of 1.55. East West Bancorp has a 52 week low of $40.05 and a 52 week high of $73.98.

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

In other East West Bancorp news, Director Jack C. Liu sold 2,108 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, March 4th. The shares were sold at an average price of $55.20, for a total value of $116,361.60. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 18,857 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,040,906.40. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through this link. 0.61% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Millennium Management LLC boosted its stake in shares of East West Bancorp by 78.8% in the 4th quarter. Millennium Management LLC now owns 1,256,633 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $54,701,000 after purchasing an additional 553,961 shares in the last quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. boosted its stake in shares of East West Bancorp by 3.4% in the 4th quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. now owns 3,584,601 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $156,037,000 after purchasing an additional 119,282 shares in the last quarter. Fisher Asset Management LLC boosted its stake in shares of East West Bancorp by 1.3% in the 4th quarter. Fisher Asset Management LLC now owns 2,155,733 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $93,839,000 after purchasing an additional 27,128 shares in the last quarter. State of Alaska Department of Revenue boosted its stake in shares of East West Bancorp by 1.9% in the 4th quarter. State of Alaska Department of Revenue now owns 15,519 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $675,000 after purchasing an additional 292 shares in the last quarter. Finally, BOKF NA boosted its stake in shares of East West Bancorp by 5.8% in the 4th quarter. BOKF NA now owns 29,249 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $1,273,000 after purchasing an additional 1,607 shares in the last quarter. 88.99% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About East West Bancorp

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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