East West Bancorp (EWBC) Upgraded at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of East West Bancorp (NASDAQ:EWBC) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research report report published on Tuesday morning, Zacks.com reports.

According to Zacks, “East West Bancorp's shares have underperformed the industry over the past six months. Yet, the company has an impressive earnings surprise history, surpassing the Zacks Consensus Estimate in each of the trailing four quarters. Increase in loans and deposits along with higher interest rates are expected to support the company’s revenues. Moreover, its steady capital deployment actions reflect strong balance sheet position. However, rise in operating expenses remains a major concern for the company, as it will likely hurt profitability to some extent. Further, the company's significant exposure to risky loan portfolios is likely to hamper financials. Also, earnings estimates have been going down ahead of the company's first quarter 2019 results.”

EWBC has been the subject of several other reports. BidaskClub upgraded East West Bancorp from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research report on Friday, January 25th. ValuEngine upgraded East West Bancorp from a strong sell rating to a sell rating in a research note on Wednesday, January 2nd. TheStreet cut East West Bancorp from a b rating to a c+ rating in a research note on Friday, December 21st. Barclays reiterated a buy rating and set a $69.00 price objective on shares of East West Bancorp in a research note on Friday, January 11th. Finally, Wedbush upped their price objective on East West Bancorp from $59.00 to $62.00 and gave the stock an outperform rating in a research note on Friday, March 8th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have issued a hold rating and seven have issued a buy rating to the stock. East West Bancorp currently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average target price of $66.70.

East West Bancorp stock opened at $51.96 on Tuesday. The stock has a market cap of $7.39 billion, a PE ratio of 11.15, a P/E/G ratio of 0.95 and a beta of 1.54. East West Bancorp has a 1 year low of $40.05 and a 1 year high of $73.98. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.11, a current ratio of 1.01 and a quick ratio of 1.01.

East West Bancorp (NASDAQ:EWBC) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, January 24th. The financial services provider reported $1.18 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.16 by $0.02. The company had revenue of $411.11 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $408.61 million. East West Bancorp had a return on equity of 16.26% and a net margin of 37.78%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 12.7% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the company earned $0.87 EPS. Equities analysts forecast that East West Bancorp will post 5.09 EPS for the current year.

In other news, Director Rudolph Estrada sold 1,902 shares of the stock in a transaction on Monday, January 28th. The stock was sold at an average price of $52.64, for a total transaction of $100,121.28. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 15,089 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $794,284.96. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, Director Jack C. Liu sold 2,108 shares of the stock in a transaction on Monday, March 4th. The stock was sold at an average price of $55.20, for a total value of $116,361.60. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 18,857 shares in the company, valued at $1,040,906.40. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.68% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. BlackRock Inc. grew its holdings in shares of East West Bancorp by 3.2% during the 4th quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 15,420,771 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $671,264,000 after purchasing an additional 483,132 shares in the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. lifted its position in shares of East West Bancorp by 1.4% during the 3rd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 13,297,189 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $802,751,000 after buying an additional 187,861 shares during the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc lifted its position in shares of East West Bancorp by 1.4% during the 3rd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc now owns 13,297,189 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $802,751,000 after buying an additional 187,861 shares during the last quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. lifted its position in shares of East West Bancorp by 3.4% during the 4th quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. now owns 3,584,601 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $156,037,000 after buying an additional 119,282 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund lifted its position in shares of East West Bancorp by 4,203.9% during the 4th quarter. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund now owns 3,209,902 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $74,000 after buying an additional 3,135,320 shares during the last quarter. 88.58% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

About East West Bancorp

East West Bancorp, Inc operates as the bank holding company for East West Bank that provides a range of personal and commercial banking services to businesses and individuals in the United States and Greater China. It operates in three segments: Consumer and Business Banking, Commercial Banking, and Other.

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