Howard Bancorp (HBMD) Downgraded by Zacks Investment Research to “Strong Sell”

Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Howard Bancorp (NASDAQ:HBMD) from a hold rating to a strong sell rating in a report published on Tuesday morning.

According to Zacks, “Howard Bancorp, Inc., headquartered in Ellicott City, Maryland, operates as a holding company for Howard Bank that provides a range of commercial and retail banking services in Maryland. It offers various deposits products, such as community business, business relationship, business solutions, super, howard relationship, and howard maximum checking accounts; individual retirement accounts; business, junior, and personal savings accounts; anniversary, incentive, and business money market accounts; and certificates of deposits. The company’s loan portfolio comprises commercial construction, commercial real estate, home equity, and consumer installment loans; and commercial and unsecured lines of credit. Howard Bancorp also provides business and personal online banking and Web BillPay services, ATM cards, business credit cards, and cash management, lockbox processing, and wire transfers services. “

Separately, Merion Capital Group raised Howard Bancorp from a neutral rating to an outperform rating and set a $23.00 price target on the stock in a research report on Friday, February 9th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have issued a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Howard Bancorp currently has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $23.00.

Howard Bancorp (HBMD) opened at $19.80 on Tuesday. The firm has a market capitalization of $196.41, a P/E ratio of 25.97 and a beta of 0.01. Howard Bancorp has a 1 year low of $16.70 and a 1 year high of $24.20. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.05, a quick ratio of 0.95 and a current ratio of 1.00.

Howard Bancorp (NASDAQ:HBMD) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Monday, January 22nd. The financial services provider reported $0.21 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.22 by ($0.01). The company had revenue of $14.53 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $15.35 million. Howard Bancorp had a return on equity of 5.76% and a net margin of 11.51%. sell-side analysts forecast that Howard Bancorp will post 1.25 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In other news, Director Robert J. Hartson sold 7,500 shares of Howard Bancorp stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, December 19th. The stock was sold at an average price of $23.15, for a total transaction of $173,625.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 159,276 shares in the company, valued at approximately $3,687,239.40. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Insiders own 10.59% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of HBMD. Macquarie Group Ltd. bought a new position in shares of Howard Bancorp during the 3rd quarter worth approximately $118,000. SG Americas Securities LLC bought a new position in shares of Howard Bancorp during the 4th quarter worth approximately $150,000. New York State Common Retirement Fund bought a new position in shares of Howard Bancorp during the 2nd quarter worth approximately $181,000. OxFORD Asset Management LLP bought a new position in shares of Howard Bancorp during the 3rd quarter worth approximately $235,000. Finally, Teachers Advisors LLC bought a new position in shares of Howard Bancorp during the 2nd quarter worth approximately $296,000. Institutional investors own 64.85% of the company’s stock.

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About Howard Bancorp

Howard Bancorp, Inc is the bank holding company of Howard Bank. The Company’s primary business is to own all of the capital stock of Howard Bank. The Company operates through Community Banking segment. Howard Bank is a trust company, which has approximately four operating subsidiaries. The Company offers a range of services to its customers, including wire transfer services, automated teller machine (ATM) and check cards, ATMs at all of its service branch locations, safe deposit boxes at all service locations and credit cards through a third-party processor.

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