Zacks Investment Research Upgrades American River Bankshares (AMRB) to Buy

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of American River Bankshares (NASDAQ:AMRB) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report issued on Wednesday, January 10th. The brokerage currently has $17.00 price objective on the financial services provider’s stock.

According to Zacks, “American River Bankshares is the parent company of American River Bank, a regional bank in Northern California with 10 full service branches in Sacramento, Sonoma, Placer and Amador Counties as well as two loan production offices in the San Francisco Bay Area. The Bank specializes in giving business owners more REACH by offering financial expertise and exceptional service to complement a full suite of banking products and lending solutions such as secured and unsecured lines of credit, commercial real estate loans, equipment financing, payroll and merchant card services. For more information, call (800) 544-0545 or visit AmericanRiverBank.com. “

Several other equities research analysts also recently issued reports on the company. ValuEngine upgraded American River Bankshares from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report on Sunday, December 31st. Sandler O’Neill set a $16.00 price target on American River Bankshares and gave the stock a hold rating in a report on Thursday, January 4th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, one has given a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating to the company. The company has an average rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $16.50.

American River Bankshares (NASDAQ:AMRB) opened at $15.01 on Wednesday. American River Bankshares has a one year low of $12.97 and a one year high of $16.49. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.16, a quick ratio of 0.64 and a current ratio of 0.64. The stock has a market capitalization of $92.48, a price-to-earnings ratio of 30.63 and a beta of 0.30.

American River Bankshares (NASDAQ:AMRB) last released its earnings results on Thursday, January 25th. The financial services provider reported $0.19 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.20 by ($0.01). American River Bankshares had a net margin of 14.53% and a return on equity of 5.82%. The company had revenue of $5.23 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $5.35 million. analysts forecast that American River Bankshares will post 0.96 EPS for the current fiscal year.

American River Bankshares declared that its board has initiated a share buyback program on Thursday, October 19th that permits the company to buyback 320,000 shares. This buyback authorization permits the financial services provider to repurchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are typically an indication that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, February 14th. Investors of record on Wednesday, January 31st will be issued a dividend of $0.05 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, January 30th. This represents a $0.20 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.33%. American River Bankshares’s payout ratio is presently 40.82%.

In related news, COO Kevin Bender sold 4,878 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, February 5th. The stock was sold at an average price of $15.01, for a total transaction of $73,218.78. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief operating officer now directly owns 13,473 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $202,229.73. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Corporate insiders own 12.20% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP boosted its position in American River Bankshares by 2.9% during the second quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 354,059 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $5,137,000 after purchasing an additional 10,030 shares during the last quarter. Maltese Capital Management LLC lifted its position in shares of American River Bankshares by 23.5% in the third quarter. Maltese Capital Management LLC now owns 498,813 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $6,904,000 after buying an additional 95,004 shares during the last quarter. Globeflex Capital L P lifted its position in shares of American River Bankshares by 27.5% in the second quarter. Globeflex Capital L P now owns 10,961 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $159,000 after buying an additional 2,365 shares during the last quarter. Context BH Capital Management LP lifted its position in shares of American River Bankshares by 22.0% in the third quarter. Context BH Capital Management LP now owns 22,236 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $308,000 after buying an additional 4,005 shares during the last quarter. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. lifted its position in shares of American River Bankshares by 217.7% in the second quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 7,943 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $115,000 after buying an additional 5,443 shares during the last quarter. 55.72% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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American River Bankshares Company Profile

American River Bankshares is a bank holding company. The Company’s banking subsidiary is American River Bank (the Bank). The Bank’s primary business is serving the commercial banking needs of small to mid-sized businesses. The Bank accepts checking and savings deposits; offers money market deposit accounts and certificates of deposit; makes secured and unsecured commercial loans, secured real estate loans, and other installment and term loans, and offers other customary banking services.

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