Zacks Investment Research Upgrades People's United Financial (PBCT) to “Buy”

People's United Financial (NASDAQ:PBCT) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report issued on Thursday, January 4th. The firm presently has a $21.00 target price on the bank’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price objective points to a potential upside of 7.80% from the stock’s previous close.

According to Zacks, “Shares of People’s United have outperformed the industry in the past three months. Also, the company has a decent earnings surprise history. It surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings in two of the trailing four quarters. People’s United is steadily growing through acquisitions, which is likely to continue in the near future, given its strong balance sheet position. Also, People’s United’s improving credit quality and easing margin pressure are tailwinds. However, escalating expenses despite undertaking initiatives to curb costs remain a concern.”

A number of other equities research analysts have also recently weighed in on PBCT. Piper Jaffray Companies restated a “sell” rating and issued a $17.00 price objective on shares of People's United Financial in a report on Sunday, October 22nd. Barclays upped their price objective on shares of People's United Financial from $18.00 to $20.00 and gave the stock an “underweight” rating in a report on Tuesday, January 2nd. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have given a hold rating and one has assigned a buy rating to the company. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $19.04.

People's United Financial (NASDAQ PBCT) opened at $19.48 on Thursday. People's United Financial has a 52-week low of $15.97 and a 52-week high of $19.85. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.72, a quick ratio of 0.98 and a current ratio of 0.98. The stock has a market cap of $6,744.98, a PE ratio of 21.41, a P/E/G ratio of 7.92 and a beta of 0.85.

People's United Financial (NASDAQ:PBCT) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, October 19th. The bank reported $0.26 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.25 by $0.01. People's United Financial had a net margin of 19.32% and a return on equity of 6.28%. The company had revenue of $373.90 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $374.59 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company earned $0.24 earnings per share. People's United Financial’s quarterly revenue was up 11.2% on a year-over-year basis. research analysts forecast that People's United Financial will post 1 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In other news, VP David K. Norton sold 108,194 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, November 29th. The shares were sold at an average price of $19.22, for a total value of $2,079,488.68. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, CFO R David Rosato sold 6,040 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, November 29th. The stock was sold at an average price of $19.18, for a total transaction of $115,847.20. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last 90 days, insiders sold 724,338 shares of company stock worth $13,796,084. Corporate insiders own 2.70% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of PBCT. Janus Henderson Group PLC lifted its stake in shares of People's United Financial by 9,587.6% in the second quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 4,212,281 shares of the bank’s stock worth $74,389,000 after buying an additional 4,168,800 shares in the last quarter. State Street Corp lifted its stake in shares of People's United Financial by 6.2% in the second quarter. State Street Corp now owns 39,968,330 shares of the bank’s stock worth $705,843,000 after buying an additional 2,316,636 shares in the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. lifted its position in People's United Financial by 5.9% during the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 34,847,557 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $615,409,000 after purchasing an additional 1,945,556 shares during the period. CHURCHILL MANAGEMENT Corp bought a new position in People's United Financial during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $22,042,000. Finally, Dimensional Fund Advisors LP lifted its position in People's United Financial by 11.1% during the second quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 9,215,243 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $162,743,000 after purchasing an additional 923,949 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 75.52% of the company’s stock.

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About People's United Financial

People’s United Financial, Inc is a bank holding company and a financial holding company of People’s United Bank (the Bank). The Bank is engaged in providing commercial banking, retail banking and wealth management services to individual, corporate and municipal customers. The Company operates through two segments: Commercial Banking and Retail Banking.

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