Zacks Investment Research Downgrades Webster Financial (NYSE:WBS) to Sell

Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Webster Financial (NYSE:WBS) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note published on Saturday morning, Zacks.com reports. They currently have $47.00 target price on the financial services provider’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Webster Financial have underperformed the industry in the past six months. Also, earnings estimates have been revised downward ahead of the third quarter results. However, persistently rising costs are a major concern, which might be further elevated by the company's efforts to strengthen the HSA Bank segment. Also, high exposure in residential and commercial real estate loans can be risky if the housing sector weakens. Nevertheless, it possesses an impressive earnings surprise history, having surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate in each of the trailing four quarters. Webster Financial’s continued growth in loans and deposits will support profitability. Further, top-line strength and ample liquidity keep the optimism alive. Additionally, the company's margins are expected to continue benefiting from decent lending scenario.”

Other analysts also recently issued research reports about the stock. ValuEngine raised shares of Webster Financial from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report on Wednesday, October 2nd. Wells Fargo & Co cut their price objective on shares of Webster Financial from $55.00 to $50.00 and set a market perform rating for the company in a report on Wednesday, October 2nd. Morgan Stanley cut their price objective on shares of Webster Financial from $52.00 to $50.00 and set an equal weight rating for the company in a report on Thursday, October 3rd. Finally, Boenning Scattergood reissued a neutral rating on shares of Webster Financial in a report on Friday, July 19th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have given a hold rating and one has given a buy rating to the stock. Webster Financial has an average rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $54.40.

NYSE WBS opened at $43.57 on Friday. The company has a quick ratio of 0.83, a current ratio of 0.83 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.67. The company has a market capitalization of $4.32 billion, a P/E ratio of 11.65, a P/E/G ratio of 1.44 and a beta of 1.29. Webster Financial has a 12-month low of $42.29 and a 12-month high of $61.49. The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $46.34 and a two-hundred day moving average price of $48.07.

In other news, EVP Daniel Bley sold 2,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, July 31st. The shares were sold at an average price of $51.45, for a total transaction of $102,900.00. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now owns 18,654 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $959,748.30. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, Director John Joseph Crawford sold 1,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, July 26th. The stock was sold at an average price of $51.28, for a total transaction of $51,280.00. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 15,099 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $774,276.72. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 1.53% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. Municipal Employees Retirement System of Michigan lifted its holdings in shares of Webster Financial by 1.4% during the 2nd quarter. Municipal Employees Retirement System of Michigan now owns 17,060 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $815,000 after acquiring an additional 240 shares during the period. Advisory Services Network LLC lifted its holdings in shares of Webster Financial by 10.1% during the 1st quarter. Advisory Services Network LLC now owns 2,988 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $151,000 after acquiring an additional 275 shares during the period. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank lifted its holdings in shares of Webster Financial by 4.8% during the 2nd quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank now owns 6,301 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $301,000 after acquiring an additional 288 shares during the period. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund increased its position in Webster Financial by 1.4% during the 2nd quarter. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund now owns 37,384 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $1,786,000 after purchasing an additional 528 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Arizona State Retirement System increased its position in Webster Financial by 0.9% during the 2nd quarter. Arizona State Retirement System now owns 66,876 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $3,195,000 after purchasing an additional 608 shares in the last quarter. 88.63% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

Webster Financial Company Profile

Webster Financial Corporation operates as the holding company for Webster Bank, National Association that provides a range of banking, investment, and financial services to individuals, families, and businesses in the United States. It operates through three segments: Commercial Banking, HSA Bank, and Community Banking.

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