Webster Financial (WBS) Cut to “Hold” at Zacks Investment Research

Webster Financial (NYSE:WBS) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Tuesday.

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 surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings in three of the trailing four quarters.  Fourth-quarter 2017 results benefitted from strong organic growth and capital strength, partially offset by lower fee income. Webster Financial’s consistent growth in loans and deposits will aid profitability. Also, top-line strength and ample liquidity keep us encouraged. Notably, the rising interest rate environment and lower tax rates will further support revenue growth. However, consistently rising cost base remains a major concern. Also, significant exposure to commercial loans could pose a threat to its financials. Nevertheless, its efforts to strengthen HSA Bank segment bode well for the long term.”

Several other equities research analysts have also commented on WBS. JPMorgan Chase & Co. boosted their price objective on shares of Webster Financial from $66.00 to $67.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research report on Wednesday, January 24th. Boenning Scattergood reiterated a “hold” rating on shares of Webster Financial in a research report on Wednesday, January 24th. Morgan Stanley boosted their price objective on shares of Webster Financial from $54.00 to $56.00 and gave the stock an “underweight” rating in a research report on Friday, January 26th. Sandler O’Neill reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $60.00 price objective on shares of Webster Financial in a research report on Tuesday, January 23rd. Finally, Piper Jaffray Companies reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $56.00 price objective on shares of Webster Financial in a research report on Tuesday, January 23rd. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have assigned a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $59.82.

Shares of Webster Financial (NYSE WBS) traded down $0.57 during midday trading on Tuesday, hitting $56.61. 167,317 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 531,751. The stock has a market cap of $5,266.33, a price-to-earnings ratio of 21.33, a P/E/G ratio of 2.12 and a beta of 1.15. Webster Financial has a 52 week low of $44.04 and a 52 week high of $60.32. The company has a quick ratio of 0.82, a current ratio of 0.82 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.74.

Webster Financial (NYSE:WBS) last issued its earnings results on Tuesday, January 23rd. The financial services provider reported $0.73 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.67 by $0.06. The company had revenue of $270.97 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $269.64 million. Webster Financial had a net margin of 21.77% and a return on equity of 9.91%. The business’s revenue was up 5.9% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $0.60 EPS. equities research analysts forecast that Webster Financial will post 3.37 earnings per share for the current year.

In related news, Director Joel S. Becker sold 5,064 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, February 6th. The shares were sold at an average price of $54.22, for a total value of $274,570.08. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 58,283 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $3,160,104.26. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, Director Mark Pettie sold 3,291 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, February 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $56.34, for a total transaction of $185,414.94. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 16,405 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $924,257.70. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 11,272 shares of company stock valued at $629,959 in the last three months. 2.20% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

A number of hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Ameriprise Financial Inc. raised its stake in Webster Financial by 0.3% in the 3rd quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. now owns 357,951 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $18,811,000 after purchasing an additional 1,019 shares during the last quarter. Amalgamated Bank raised its stake in Webster Financial by 5.9% in the 4th quarter. Amalgamated Bank now owns 18,500 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $1,039,000 after purchasing an additional 1,029 shares during the last quarter. Flinton Capital Management LLC raised its stake in Webster Financial by 27.0% in the 4th quarter. Flinton Capital Management LLC now owns 6,320 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $355,000 after purchasing an additional 1,344 shares during the last quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank raised its stake in Webster Financial by 39.4% in the 4th quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank now owns 4,788 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $269,000 after purchasing an additional 1,353 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Chartwell Investment Partners LLC raised its stake in Webster Financial by 4.3% in the 3rd quarter. Chartwell Investment Partners LLC now owns 35,296 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $1,854,000 after purchasing an additional 1,469 shares during the last quarter. 96.15% of the stock is 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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