Ameris Bancorp (ABCB) Upgraded to “Buy” by Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Ameris Bancorp (NASDAQ:ABCB) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note issued to investors on Tuesday morning. They currently have $54.00 target price on the bank’s stock.

According to Zacks, “ABC Bancorp is a bank holding company. “

A number of other brokerages have also recently issued reports on ABCB. BidaskClub upgraded Ameris Bancorp from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report on Wednesday, December 20th. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods upgraded Ameris Bancorp from a market perform rating to an outperform rating in a research note on Monday, November 20th. ValuEngine cut Ameris Bancorp from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note on Thursday, November 9th. Piper Jaffray Companies set a $50.00 price target on Ameris Bancorp and gave the company a hold rating in a research note on Monday, October 23rd. Finally, Stephens reiterated a buy rating and issued a $52.00 price target on shares of Ameris Bancorp in a research note on Thursday, September 28th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $52.60.

Shares of Ameris Bancorp (NASDAQ ABCB) traded up $0.20 during trading on Tuesday, hitting $48.75. The stock had a trading volume of 207,143 shares, compared to its average volume of 275,672. The company has a market capitalization of $1,794.54, a price-to-earnings ratio of 21.48 and a beta of 1.20. Ameris Bancorp has a 12 month low of $41.05 and a 12 month high of $51.30. The company has a current ratio of 1.07, a quick ratio of 1.04 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.11.

Ameris Bancorp (NASDAQ:ABCB) last released its earnings results on Thursday, October 19th. The bank reported $0.63 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.65 by ($0.02). The company had revenue of $93.85 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $96.89 million. Ameris Bancorp had a net margin of 21.57% and a return on equity of 12.12%. analysts expect that Ameris Bancorp will post 2.48 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, January 10th. Shareholders of record on Friday, December 29th will be paid a dividend of $0.10 per share. This represents a $0.40 annualized dividend and a yield of 0.82%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, December 28th. Ameris Bancorp’s payout ratio is presently 17.62%.

In other news, insider James A. Lahaise sold 14,200 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, December 13th. The shares were sold at an average price of $46.58, for a total transaction of $661,436.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 73,986 shares in the company, valued at $3,446,267.88. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. 3.63% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of ABCB. GSA Capital Partners LLP boosted its position in shares of Ameris Bancorp by 19.4% during the 3rd quarter. GSA Capital Partners LLP now owns 43,265 shares of the bank’s stock worth $2,077,000 after purchasing an additional 7,040 shares in the last quarter. Maltese Capital Management LLC boosted its position in shares of Ameris Bancorp by 4.0% during the 3rd quarter. Maltese Capital Management LLC now owns 581,101 shares of the bank’s stock worth $27,893,000 after purchasing an additional 22,201 shares in the last quarter. Castine Capital Management LLC boosted its position in shares of Ameris Bancorp by 8.9% during the 3rd quarter. Castine Capital Management LLC now owns 268,532 shares of the bank’s stock worth $12,890,000 after purchasing an additional 21,833 shares in the last quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. boosted its position in shares of Ameris Bancorp by 13.5% during the 3rd quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 178,983 shares of the bank’s stock worth $8,592,000 after purchasing an additional 21,235 shares in the last quarter. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. lifted its position in Ameris Bancorp by 169.9% in the 3rd quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 139,584 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $6,687,000 after acquiring an additional 87,876 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 81.98% of the company’s stock.

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Ameris Bancorp Company Profile

Ameris Bancorp is a financial holding company. The Company’s business is conducted through its banking subsidiary, Ameris Bank (the Bank), which provides a range of banking services to its retail and commercial customers. The Company operates through four segments: the Banking Division, the Retail Mortgage Division, the Warehouse Lending Division and the SBA Division.

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