East West Bancorp (NASDAQ:EWBC) Upgraded to “Buy” at Zacks Investment Research

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Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of East West Bancorp (NASDAQ:EWBC) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report published on Wednesday, June 20th. The firm currently has $79.00 price target on the financial services provider’s stock.

According to Zacks, “East West Bancorp's shares have outperformed the industry over the past six months. The company has a decent earnings surprise history, surpassing the Zacks Consensus Estimate in two of the trailing four quarters. It has been witnessing consistent growth in loans and deposits, which is expected to further aid top-line growth. Also, with the increase in interest rates, margin pressure seems to be easing, thereby supporting profitability. However, elevated expenses, mainly due to higher compensation costs, and the company’s significant exposure toward risky loan portfolios remain major near-term concerns.”

Other research analysts have also recently issued research reports about the stock. BidaskClub upgraded shares of East West Bancorp from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report on Thursday, May 24th. UBS Group initiated coverage on shares of East West Bancorp in a report on Thursday, March 22nd. They issued a buy rating and a $77.00 price target for the company. Morgan Stanley upped their price target on shares of East West Bancorp from $70.00 to $72.00 and gave the company an equal weight rating in a report on Tuesday, April 24th. ValuEngine cut shares of East West Bancorp from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report on Monday, June 11th. Finally, Deutsche Bank increased their target price on shares of East West Bancorp from $74.00 to $76.00 and gave the stock a hold rating in a report on Friday, May 4th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have issued a hold rating and eight have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. East West Bancorp presently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average target price of $72.92.

East West Bancorp stock opened at $65.20 on Wednesday. The company has a market capitalization of $9.57 billion, a PE ratio of 17.85, a P/E/G ratio of 1.38 and a beta of 1.41. East West Bancorp has a twelve month low of $52.86 and a twelve month high of $73.98. The company has a quick ratio of 1.00, a current ratio of 1.00 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.12.

East West Bancorp (NASDAQ:EWBC) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, April 19th. The financial services provider reported $1.13 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.00 by $0.13. The company had revenue of $401.14 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $364.81 million. East West Bancorp had a net margin of 32.46% and a return on equity of 14.15%. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $0.88 earnings per share. equities research analysts predict that East West Bancorp will post 4.55 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In other East West Bancorp news, Director Jack C. Liu sold 1,075 shares of the stock in a transaction on Monday, April 23rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $65.98, for a total value of $70,928.50. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 20,524 shares in the company, valued at $1,354,173.52. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, Director Molly Campbell sold 550 shares of the stock in a transaction on Thursday, May 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $67.00, for a total transaction of $36,850.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 4,898 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $328,166. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 145,785 shares of company stock valued at $10,222,156 in the last 90 days. 0.88% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the business. Delpha Capital Management LLC acquired a new stake in East West Bancorp in the first quarter valued at $222,000. Gideon Capital Advisors Inc. acquired a new stake in East West Bancorp in the first quarter valued at $280,000. Susquehanna Fundamental Investments LLC acquired a new stake in East West Bancorp in the first quarter valued at $331,000. OLD Mutual Customised Solutions Proprietary Ltd. lifted its stake in East West Bancorp by 107.4% in the fourth quarter. OLD Mutual Customised Solutions Proprietary Ltd. now owns 5,600 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $341,000 after acquiring an additional 2,900 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Burney Co. acquired a new stake in East West Bancorp in the fourth quarter valued at $344,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 89.75% of the company’s stock.

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 small and medium-sized businesses, business executives, professionals, and other individuals in the United States and Greater China. It operates through three segments: Retail Banking, Commercial Banking, and Other.

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