Meridian Bancorp (EBSB) Lifted to Hold at BidaskClub

BidaskClub upgraded shares of Meridian Bancorp (NASDAQ:EBSB) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note issued to investors on Saturday, BidAskClub reports.

Several other research firms also recently commented on EBSB. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Meridian Bancorp from a hold rating to a buy rating and set a $17.00 target price for the company in a research report on Friday, January 18th. Hovde Group restated a hold rating and set a $15.00 target price on shares of Meridian Bancorp in a research report on Monday, January 28th.

Meridian Bancorp stock opened at $16.64 on Friday. The company has a quick ratio of 1.20, a current ratio of 1.21 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.80. The company has a market cap of $905.90 million, a P/E ratio of 15.70 and a beta of 0.50. Meridian Bancorp has a one year low of $13.67 and a one year high of $20.45.

Meridian Bancorp (NASDAQ:EBSB) last posted its earnings results on Tuesday, January 22nd. The savings and loans company reported $0.24 EPS for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.29 by ($0.05). The company had revenue of $42.31 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $45.20 million. Meridian Bancorp had a return on equity of 8.34% and a net margin of 23.56%. On average, equities research analysts forecast that Meridian Bancorp will post 1.2 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, April 2nd. Investors of record on Tuesday, March 19th were given a dividend of $0.07 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Monday, March 18th. This represents a $0.28 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.68%. Meridian Bancorp’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 26.42%.

In related news, Director Gregory F. Natalucci sold 7,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, January 31st. The stock was sold at an average price of $15.76, for a total transaction of $110,320.00. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, EVP Edward J. Merritt sold 2,800 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Monday, January 28th. The shares were sold at an average price of $15.80, for a total value of $44,240.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 5.30% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

A number of hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. BlackRock Inc. increased its holdings in Meridian Bancorp by 8.3% during the 4th quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 4,063,915 shares of the savings and loans company’s stock valued at $58,195,000 after purchasing an additional 310,533 shares in the last quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP increased its holdings in Meridian Bancorp by 7.0% during the 4th quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 2,957,866 shares of the savings and loans company’s stock valued at $42,357,000 after purchasing an additional 194,621 shares in the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc increased its holdings in Meridian Bancorp by 1.3% during the 3rd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc now owns 2,353,828 shares of the savings and loans company’s stock valued at $40,015,000 after purchasing an additional 29,087 shares in the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its holdings in Meridian Bancorp by 1.3% during the 3rd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 2,353,828 shares of the savings and loans company’s stock valued at $40,015,000 after purchasing an additional 29,087 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Impax Asset Management Group plc increased its holdings in Meridian Bancorp by 8.1% during the 4th quarter. Impax Asset Management Group plc now owns 1,333,086 shares of the savings and loans company’s stock valued at $19,090,000 after purchasing an additional 100,000 shares in the last quarter. 64.82% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Meridian Bancorp Company Profile

Meridian Bancorp, Inc operates as the holding company for East Boston Savings Bank that provides various financial products and services for individuals and businesses primarily in Suffolk, Norfolk, Middlesex and Essex Counties, Massachusetts. The company accepts various deposit products, including non-interest-bearing demand deposits, such as checking accounts; interest-bearing demand accounts comprising NOW and money market accounts; savings accounts; and certificates of deposits, as well as commercial checking accounts.

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