Webster Financial (WBS) Downgraded by Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Webster Financial (NYSE:WBS) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report released on Saturday. They currently have $63.00 price target on the financial services provider’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Webster Financial have outperformed the industry over the past six months. The performance was supported by the company’s impressive earnings surprise history. It hasn’t missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings in any of the trailing four quarters.  Webster Financial’s consistent growth in loans and deposits will aid profitability. Also, top-line strength and ample liquidity keep us encouraged. Notably, following the recent Fed interest rate hike, the company raised its prime lending rate to 4.50% from 4.25%, which will further support revenue growth. Its efforts to strengthen HSA Bank segment bode well for the long term. However, consistently rising cost base remains a major concern. Also, significant exposure to commercial loans could pose a threat to its financials.”

WBS has been the topic of several other research reports. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reissued a buy rating and set a $71.00 price target on shares of Webster Financial in a research note on Friday, December 22nd. Piper Jaffray Companies raised Webster Financial from an underweight rating to a neutral rating and set a $55.00 price target on the stock in a research note on Friday, January 5th. Barclays boosted their price target on Webster Financial from $55.00 to $59.00 and gave the stock an overweight rating in a research note on Tuesday, January 2nd. Wells Fargo & Co boosted their price target on Webster Financial from $50.00 to $55.00 and gave the stock a market perform rating in a research note on Friday, October 20th. Finally, Boenning Scattergood reissued a hold rating on shares of Webster Financial in a research note on Friday, October 20th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have given a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $58.67.

Shares of Webster Financial (WBS) opened at $57.62 on Friday. Webster Financial has a twelve month low of $44.04 and a twelve month high of $59.25. The firm has a market capitalization of $5,360.00, a P/E ratio of 22.69, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.43 and a beta of 1.22. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.69, a current ratio of 0.81 and a quick ratio of 0.81.

Webster Financial (NYSE:WBS) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, October 19th. The financial services provider reported $0.67 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.64 by $0.03. Webster Financial had a return on equity of 9.89% and a net margin of 21.09%. The company had revenue of $266.75 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $269.03 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company earned $0.54 EPS. equities research analysts forecast that Webster Financial will post 2.6 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In related news, EVP Daniel Bley sold 1,486 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, October 24th. The stock was sold at an average price of $54.74, for a total value of $81,343.64. Following the sale, the executive vice president now owns 25,547 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,398,442.78. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through this link. Also, Director John Joseph Crawford sold 11,516 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, October 24th. The shares were sold at an average price of $54.83, for a total value of $631,422.28. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 16,953 shares in the company, valued at approximately $929,532.99. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 36,107 shares of company stock worth $1,988,452 in the last three months. Corporate insiders own 2.20% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. lifted its stake in Webster Financial by 4.0% in the 2nd quarter. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. now owns 5,048 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $263,000 after buying an additional 195 shares in the last quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank lifted its stake in Webster Financial by 9.5% in the 2nd quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank now owns 3,147 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $164,000 after buying an additional 274 shares in the last quarter. Dorsey Wright & Associates lifted its stake in Webster Financial by 1.3% in the 2nd quarter. Dorsey Wright & Associates now owns 29,141 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $1,522,000 after buying an additional 367 shares in the last quarter. Advisor Group Inc. lifted its stake in Webster Financial by 13.3% in the 2nd quarter. Advisor Group Inc. now owns 4,038 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $211,000 after buying an additional 474 shares in the last quarter. Finally, D.A. Davidson & CO. lifted its stake in Webster Financial by 9.5% in the 2nd quarter. D.A. Davidson & CO. now owns 6,443 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $336,000 after buying an additional 559 shares in the last quarter. 86.77% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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About Webster Financial

Webster Financial Corporation is a bank and financial holding company. The Company’s segments include Commercial Banking, Community Banking, HSA Bank, Private Banking, and Corporate and Reconciling. The Commercial Banking segment includes middle-market, asset-based lending, commercial real estate, equipment finance, and treasury and payment solutions, which includes government and institutional banking.

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