Banco de Chile (BCH) Upgraded to “Buy” by Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Banco de Chile (NYSE:BCH) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report released on Tuesday, March 20th. The brokerage currently has $114.00 price target on the bank’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Banco De Chile is principally engaged in commercial banking in Chile, providing general banking services to a diverse customer base that includes large corporations, small and mid-sized businesses and individuals. “

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A number of other equities analysts also recently weighed in on the company. ValuEngine upgraded Banco de Chile from a buy rating to a strong-buy rating in a report on Tuesday, March 13th. Deutsche Bank downgraded Banco de Chile from a hold rating to a sell rating and set a $91.00 target price on the stock. in a report on Wednesday, January 24th. Bank of America downgraded Banco de Chile from a neutral rating to an underperform rating in a report on Thursday, January 18th. Finally, Credit Suisse Group reiterated a hold rating on shares of Banco de Chile in a report on Friday, December 22nd. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have given a hold rating, two have assigned a buy rating and two have assigned a strong buy rating to the company. The company presently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average target price of $92.75.

BCH stock traded down $0.60 during mid-day trading on Tuesday, reaching $101.20. 15,669 shares of the stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 39,808. Banco de Chile has a 52-week low of $72.00 and a 52-week high of $106.50. The firm has a market capitalization of $16,918.88, a PE ratio of 18.73, a P/E/G ratio of 1.08 and a beta of 0.43.

Banco de Chile (NYSE:BCH) last issued its earnings results on Friday, February 2nd. The bank reported $1.40 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.39 by $0.01. The company had revenue of $705.70 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $725.81 million. Banco de Chile had a return on equity of 19.47% and a net margin of 24.77%. analysts forecast that Banco de Chile will post 6.09 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed an annual dividend, which was paid on Thursday, April 5th. Investors of record on Thursday, March 29th were issued a $3.0988 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, March 28th. This represents a yield of 3.06%. This is an increase from Banco de Chile’s previous annual dividend of $1.76. Banco de Chile’s dividend payout ratio is currently 41.95%.

A number of large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Renaissance Technologies LLC increased its holdings in Banco de Chile by 1.6% in the fourth quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 614,740 shares of the bank’s stock worth $59,341,000 after buying an additional 9,388 shares during the last quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP increased its holdings in Banco de Chile by 2.8% in the third quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 200,031 shares of the bank’s stock worth $18,235,000 after buying an additional 5,432 shares during the last quarter. Aperio Group LLC increased its holdings in Banco de Chile by 1.9% in the fourth quarter. Aperio Group LLC now owns 132,363 shares of the bank’s stock worth $12,777,000 after buying an additional 2,474 shares during the last quarter. Deutsche Bank AG increased its holdings in Banco de Chile by 167.8% in the fourth quarter. Deutsche Bank AG now owns 60,991 shares of the bank’s stock worth $5,886,000 after buying an additional 38,212 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. increased its holdings in Banco de Chile by 10.1% in the third quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 42,670 shares of the bank’s stock worth $3,891,000 after buying an additional 3,923 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 1.30% of the company’s stock.

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Banco de Chile Company Profile

Banco de Chile provides various banking products and services to individuals, corporate clients, large companies, and small and medium-sized companies in Chile and internationally. The company operates through four segments: Retail, Wholesale, Treasury, and Subsidiaries. It offers checking accounts; personal, car, and mortgage loans; credit cards; credit lines; and investment products, such as fixed-term, automatic renewal, and tax benefit deposits, as well as stocks, portfolio management, voluntary retirement savings/mutual funds, foreign currency, and fixed income investment products.

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