Thrivent Financial For Lutherans decreased its stake in shares of Ameris Bancorp (NASDAQ:ABCB) by 36.2% during the fourth quarter, according to the company in its most recent disclosure with the SEC. The institutional investor owned 137,485 shares of the bank’s stock after selling 78,026 shares during the quarter. Thrivent Financial For Lutherans owned about 0.37% of Ameris Bancorp worth $6,627,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.
A number of other institutional investors also recently made changes to their positions in ABCB. Oak Ridge Investments LLC lifted its position in Ameris Bancorp by 228.9% during the third quarter. Oak Ridge Investments LLC now owns 542,628 shares of the bank’s stock worth $26,046,000 after buying an additional 377,628 shares in the last quarter. Stephens Investment Management Group LLC purchased a new position in Ameris Bancorp during the fourth quarter worth approximately $13,543,000. BlackRock Inc. raised its position in Ameris Bancorp by 3.8% in the fourth quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 4,746,644 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $228,788,000 after purchasing an additional 171,889 shares during the period. Kennedy Capital Management Inc. raised its position in Ameris Bancorp by 30.5% in the fourth quarter. Kennedy Capital Management Inc. now owns 684,375 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $32,987,000 after purchasing an additional 160,148 shares during the period. Finally, Bank of New York Mellon Corp raised its position in Ameris Bancorp by 18.6% in the fourth quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 880,352 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $42,433,000 after purchasing an additional 138,217 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 83.25% of the company’s stock.
In other news, President Lawton E. Bassett III sold 823 shares of Ameris Bancorp stock in a transaction on Wednesday, February 14th. The stock was sold at an average price of $53.15, for a total value of $43,742.45. Following the completion of the sale, the president now directly owns 19,408 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,031,535.20. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, insider Edwin W. Hortman, Jr. sold 20,336 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, March 7th. The stock was sold at an average price of $56.41, for a total value of $1,147,153.76. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 246,961 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $13,931,070.01. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 46,159 shares of company stock valued at $2,575,646 over the last ninety days. Insiders own 3.63% of the company’s stock.
A number of equities research analysts have commented on ABCB shares. BidaskClub downgraded Ameris Bancorp from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Tuesday, December 12th. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Ameris Bancorp from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, February 27th. SunTrust Banks lifted their target price on Ameris Bancorp from $10.00 to $65.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Monday, January 29th. Finally, ValuEngine upgraded Ameris Bancorp from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, March 1st. Three analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and five have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. Ameris Bancorp currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $55.33.
Shares of NASDAQ ABCB opened at $52.00 on Friday. Ameris Bancorp has a twelve month low of $41.05 and a twelve month high of $59.05. The company has a quick ratio of 0.95, a current ratio of 0.98 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.42. The firm has a market capitalization of $2,054.15, a PE ratio of 20.97 and a beta of 1.21.
Ameris Bancorp (NASDAQ:ABCB) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Friday, January 26th. The bank reported $0.63 earnings per share for the quarter, meeting the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.63. Ameris Bancorp had a return on equity of 11.73% and a net margin of 18.44%. The business had revenue of $89.90 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $96.28 million. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $0.63 earnings per share. The company’s revenue was up 3.1% on a year-over-year basis. research analysts anticipate that Ameris Bancorp will post 3.49 EPS for the current year.
The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, April 10th. Stockholders of record on Friday, March 30th will be paid a $0.10 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, March 28th. This represents a $0.40 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 0.77%. Ameris Bancorp’s payout ratio is presently 16.13%.
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About Ameris Bancorp
Ameris Bancorp operates as the holding company for Ameris Bank that provides banking services to retail and commercial customers primarily in Georgia, Alabama, Florida, and South Carolina. The company operates through five segments: Banking Division, Retail Mortgage Division, Warehouse Lending Division, Small Business Administration Division, and Premium Finance Division.
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