Zacks Investment Research Upgrades East West Bancorp (EWBC) to “Buy”

East West Bancorp (NASDAQ:EWBC) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report issued on Tuesday, September 18th. The firm presently has a $70.00 price objective on the financial services provider’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s target price indicates a potential upside of 25.22% from the company’s previous close.

According to Zacks, “East West Bancorp's shares have underperformed the industry over the past year. Yet, the company has an impressive earnings surprise history, surpassing the Zacks Consensus Estimate in three of the trailing four quarters. The bank has been witnessing consistent improvement in loans and deposits, which along with higher interest rates is expected to further aid top-line growth. Also, the company’s enhanced capital deployment plan reflects strong balance sheet position. However, elevated expenses and worsening credit quality remains a near-term concerns.”

EWBC has been the subject of several other reports. Piper Jaffray Companies set a $82.00 price objective on shares of East West Bancorp and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, July 19th. BidaskClub cut shares of East West Bancorp from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research report on Thursday, August 9th. Morgan Stanley raised their price objective on shares of East West Bancorp from $74.00 to $75.00 and gave the stock an “equal weight” rating in a research report on Tuesday, July 24th. ValuEngine cut shares of East West Bancorp from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Monday, June 11th. Finally, Barclays lowered their target price on shares of East West Bancorp from $78.00 to $77.00 and set an “overweight” rating for the company in a research note on Friday, July 20th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have issued a hold rating and nine have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $71.62.

NASDAQ:EWBC traded down $1.39 during trading hours on Tuesday, reaching $55.90. 1,292,650 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 833,605. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.12, a quick ratio of 1.00 and a current ratio of 1.00. The stock has a market capitalization of $8.75 billion, a PE ratio of 16.16, a P/E/G ratio of 1.25 and a beta of 1.31. East West Bancorp has a twelve month low of $54.48 and a twelve month high of $73.98.

East West Bancorp (NASDAQ:EWBC) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, July 19th. The financial services provider reported $1.18 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.09 by $0.09. The business had revenue of $389.95 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $382.70 million. East West Bancorp had a net margin of 34.15% and a return on equity of 15.12%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 15.6% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the business earned $0.81 earnings per share. Research analysts forecast that East West Bancorp will post 4.61 earnings per share for the current year.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Bank of Montreal Can boosted its stake in shares of East West Bancorp by 24.5% in the third quarter. Bank of Montreal Can now owns 12,366 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $748,000 after purchasing an additional 2,434 shares during the period. Atria Investments LLC raised its holdings in East West Bancorp by 100.3% during the third quarter. Atria Investments LLC now owns 6,332 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $382,000 after purchasing an additional 3,171 shares in the last quarter. Fox Run Management L.L.C. raised its holdings in East West Bancorp by 214.2% during the third quarter. Fox Run Management L.L.C. now owns 14,219 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $858,000 after purchasing an additional 9,693 shares in the last quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp raised its holdings in East West Bancorp by 15.1% during the second quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 4,771,173 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $311,079,000 after purchasing an additional 627,329 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Bain Capital Public Equity Management LLC acquired a new stake in East West Bancorp during the second quarter worth approximately $4,485,000. 88.83% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

East West Bancorp Company Profile

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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