East West Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:EWBC) Short Interest Update

East West Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:EWBC) was the recipient of a significant drop in short interest in October. As of October 31st, there was short interest totalling 1,310,000 shares, a drop of 14.9% from the September 30th total of 1,540,000 shares. Currently, 0.9% of the company’s stock are sold short. Based on an average daily trading volume, of 1,080,000 shares, the short-interest ratio is presently 1.2 days.

EWBC has been the subject of several analyst reports. ValuEngine downgraded shares of East West Bancorp from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Friday, November 1st. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of East West Bancorp from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $45.00 target price for the company in a report on Friday, October 4th. SunTrust Banks lowered their target price on shares of East West Bancorp from $55.00 to $54.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a report on Thursday, October 3rd. Raymond James downgraded shares of East West Bancorp from a “market perform” rating to an “underperform” rating in a report on Tuesday, October 8th. Finally, BidaskClub upgraded shares of East West Bancorp from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, October 31st. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, two have assigned a hold rating and seven have given a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $53.43.

In other East West Bancorp news, EVP Andy Yen acquired 1,300 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, August 28th. The shares were purchased at an average cost of $38.92 per share, with a total value of $50,596.00. Following the completion of the purchase, the executive vice president now owns 55,849 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,173,643.08. The acquisition was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, CEO Dominic Ng acquired 25,840 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, August 29th. The stock was acquired at an average cost of $38.71 per share, for a total transaction of $1,000,266.40. Following the completion of the purchase, the chief executive officer now directly owns 538,250 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $20,835,657.50. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Insiders acquired 38,052 shares of company stock worth $1,478,330 over the last ninety days. Insiders own 0.61% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. BlackRock Inc. boosted its position in shares of East West Bancorp by 1.4% in the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 15,854,861 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $741,532,000 after acquiring an additional 223,815 shares during the period. JPMorgan Chase & Co. lifted its position in East West Bancorp by 2.0% during the second quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 5,020,309 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $230,431,000 after purchasing an additional 96,929 shares during the last quarter. Boston Partners lifted its position in East West Bancorp by 6.6% during the second quarter. Boston Partners now owns 4,991,542 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $233,427,000 after purchasing an additional 309,257 shares during the last quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. lifted its position in East West Bancorp by 7.2% during the second quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. now owns 3,897,780 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $182,298,000 after purchasing an additional 263,000 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Handelsbanken Fonder AB lifted its position in East West Bancorp by 10.2% during the second quarter. Handelsbanken Fonder AB now owns 2,663,951 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $124,593,000 after purchasing an additional 246,578 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 87.76% of the company’s stock.

Shares of EWBC stock traded up $0.07 on Friday, hitting $44.89. The stock had a trading volume of 582,500 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,233,422. The business has a 50 day moving average of $43.48 and a 200 day moving average of $44.69. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.18, a current ratio of 1.01 and a quick ratio of 1.01. East West Bancorp has a 12-month low of $37.69 and a 12-month high of $56.09. The stock has a market cap of $6.53 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 9.63, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 0.94 and a beta of 1.66.

East West Bancorp (NASDAQ:EWBC) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, October 17th. The financial services provider reported $1.17 EPS for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.20 by ($0.03). East West Bancorp had a net margin of 31.98% and a return on equity of 14.90%. The firm had revenue of $421.28 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $418.32 million. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $1.17 earnings per share. East West Bancorp’s revenue was up 6.6% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, research analysts expect that East West Bancorp will post 4.78 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, November 15th. Stockholders of record on Friday, November 1st were given a $0.275 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, October 31st. This represents a $1.10 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.45%. East West Bancorp’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 23.61%.

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 businesses and individuals in the United States and Greater China. It operates in three segments: Consumer and Business Banking, Commercial Banking, and Other.

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