United Community Banks (NASDAQ:UCBI) Rating Increased to Buy at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of United Community Banks (NASDAQ:UCBI) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report issued on Friday, Zacks.com reports. Zacks Investment Research currently has $34.00 price target on the financial services provider’s stock.

According to Zacks, “United Community Bank is a bank holding company. United conducts its operations through a community-focused operating model of separate community banks, which, as of December 31, 2016, operated at 139 locations throughout the Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, Georgia, and Gainesville, Georgia metropolitan statistical areas, upstate and coastal South Carolina, north and coastal Georgia, western North Carolina, and east Tennessee. The community banks offer a range of retail and corporate banking services, including checking, savings and time deposit accounts, secured and unsecured loans, wire transfers, brokerage services and other financial services. The Company operates through its subsidiary, United Community Bank, Blairsville, Georgia (the Bank). The Bank owns an insurance agency, United Community Insurance Services, Inc., known as United Community Advisory Services, which is a subsidiary of the Bank. “

Several other equities research analysts have also commented on the stock. BidaskClub lowered shares of United Community Banks from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report on Monday, November 25th. DA Davidson initiated coverage on United Community Banks in a report on Tuesday, August 20th. They set a neutral rating on the stock. SunTrust Banks lowered their price objective on United Community Banks from $30.00 to $29.00 and set a hold rating on the stock in a research report on Tuesday, August 27th. Stephens reaffirmed a hold rating and set a $29.00 target price on shares of United Community Banks in a report on Tuesday, October 22nd. Finally, ValuEngine downgraded shares of United Community Banks from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report on Tuesday, October 15th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have issued a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. United Community Banks has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $31.00.

Shares of NASDAQ UCBI opened at $31.10 on Friday. The company has a current ratio of 0.85, a quick ratio of 0.85 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.17. United Community Banks has a 12 month low of $20.23 and a 12 month high of $31.66. The company has a 50 day simple moving average of $30.67 and a two-hundred day simple moving average of $28.28. The stock has a market cap of $2.45 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 14.53 and a beta of 1.28.

United Community Banks (NASDAQ:UCBI) last released its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, October 22nd. The financial services provider reported $0.63 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.58 by $0.05. United Community Banks had a net margin of 27.87% and a return on equity of 12.24%. The business had revenue of $148.37 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $143.91 million. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $0.55 EPS. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 8.9% on a year-over-year basis. Analysts forecast that United Community Banks will post 2.36 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, January 6th. Stockholders of record on Monday, December 16th will be paid a dividend of $0.18 per share. This is a positive change from United Community Banks’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.17. This represents a $0.72 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.32%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, December 13th. United Community Banks’s dividend payout ratio is presently 31.78%.

In other news, CAO Alan H. Kumler sold 3,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, October 24th. The stock was sold at an average price of $30.67, for a total transaction of $92,010.00. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Insiders sold 8,924 shares of company stock valued at $266,654 over the last 90 days. Company insiders own 1.18% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. First Trust Advisors LP lifted its position in shares of United Community Banks by 16.1% in the first quarter. First Trust Advisors LP now owns 115,124 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $2,870,000 after acquiring an additional 15,947 shares in the last quarter. Amundi Pioneer Asset Management Inc. purchased a new position in United Community Banks in the 1st quarter valued at $165,000. Strs Ohio purchased a new stake in shares of United Community Banks during the second quarter worth $65,000. Los Angeles Capital Management & Equity Research Inc. grew its holdings in shares of United Community Banks by 125.0% during the second quarter. Los Angeles Capital Management & Equity Research Inc. now owns 64,464 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $1,841,000 after buying an additional 35,810 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Boston Advisors LLC grew its holdings in shares of United Community Banks by 17.7% during the second quarter. Boston Advisors LLC now owns 45,969 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $1,313,000 after buying an additional 6,918 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 90.91% of the company’s stock.

United Community Banks Company Profile

United Community Banks, Inc operates as the bank holding company for United Community Bank that provides retail and corporate banking services to individuals and businesses. It offers various deposit accounts, such as checking accounts, savings and time deposits accounts, NOW accounts, money market deposits, and certificates of deposit.

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