Today, Associated Banc-Corp (ASB) Raised to “Buy” at The Zacks Investment Research

Today, Associated Banc-Corp (ASB) Raised to “Buy” at The Zacks Investment Research
Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Associated Banc-Corp (NYSE:ASB) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note published on Tuesday morning. Zacks Investment Research currently has $26.00 price objective on the stock.

According to Zacks, “Associated Banc-Corp’s third-quarter 2016 earnings surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate. Continued top-line growth was partly offset by higher operating expenses and a drastic rise in credit costs. The company is expected to continue witnessing organic growth, driven by improving loan and deposit balances. In addition, the company’s branch consolidation efforts and inorganic growth strategy will likely enhance profitability going forward. Also, given a strong balance sheet position, the company is expected to continue with its capital deployment activities. However, margin pressure is likely to keep financials under strain in the near-term. Further, mounting expenses, increased dependence on commercial loans and lack of geographic exposure are the other major concerns.”

Several other analysts have also recently commented on ASB. Jefferies Group reaffirmed a buy rating on shares of Associated Banc-Corp in a research note on Monday, August 1st. Barclays PLC lifted their target price on shares of Associated Banc-Corp from $19.00 to $20.00 and gave the stock an equal weight rating in a research note on Tuesday, August 16th. DA Davidson initiated coverage on shares of Associated Banc-Corp in a research note on Monday, October 3rd. They issued an underperform rating and a $18.00 target price for the company. Finally, Deutsche Bank AG lifted their target price on shares of Associated Banc-Corp from $20.00 to $22.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a research note on Tuesday, October 11th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have given a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. Associated Banc-Corp has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $20.29.

Shares of Associated Banc-Corp (NYSE:ASB) opened at 23.10 on Tuesday. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $20.57 and a 200 day moving average price of $19.05. The firm has a market capitalization of $3.44 billion, a PE ratio of 19.41 and a beta of 1.18. Associated Banc-Corp has a 52 week low of $15.45 and a 52 week high of $23.60.

Associated Banc-Corp (NYSE:ASB) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, October 20th. The company reported $0.34 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.32 by $0.02. Associated Banc-Corp had a return on equity of 6.46% and a net margin of 16.55%. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $0.31 earnings per share. Equities analysts forecast that Associated Banc-Corp will post $1.24 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, December 15th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, December 1st will be paid a dividend of $0.12 per share. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, November 29th. This is a boost from Associated Banc-Corp’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.11. This represents a $0.48 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.08%. Associated Banc-Corp’s payout ratio is currently 36.98%.

In other news, insider Breck F. Hanson sold 4,989 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Monday, November 7th. The shares were sold at an average price of $20.19, for a total transaction of $100,727.91. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 16,997 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $343,169.43. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, Director John B. Williams bought 2,000 shares of Associated Banc-Corp stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, September 8th. The shares were acquired at an average price of $19.85 per share, for a total transaction of $39,700.00. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Insiders own 2.09% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Price T Rowe Associates Inc. MD raised its position in Associated Banc-Corp by 29.9% in the third quarter. Price T Rowe Associates Inc. MD now owns 53,060 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,039,000 after buying an additional 12,200 shares during the last quarter. Credit Suisse AG raised its position in Associated Banc-Corp by 11.6% in the third quarter. Credit Suisse AG now owns 187,462 shares of the company’s stock valued at $3,672,000 after buying an additional 19,444 shares during the last quarter. Ameritas Investment Partners Inc. raised its position in Associated Banc-Corp by 88.6% in the third quarter. Ameritas Investment Partners Inc. now owns 44,776 shares of the company’s stock valued at $877,000 after buying an additional 21,037 shares during the last quarter. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company acquired a new position in Associated Banc-Corp during the third quarter valued at $3,983,000. Finally, Chicago Partners Investment Group LLC raised its position in Associated Banc-Corp by 0.6% in the third quarter. Chicago Partners Investment Group LLC now owns 6,340 shares of the company’s stock valued at $124,000 after buying an additional 36 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 77.62% of the company’s stock.

Associated Banc-Corp Company Profile

Associated Banc-Corp is a bank holding company. The Company, through its banking subsidiary Associated Bank, National Association (the Bank) and various nonbanking subsidiaries, provides a range of banking and nonbanking products and services to individuals. The Company operates through three segments: Corporate and Commercial Specialty; Community, Consumer, and Business, and Risk Management and Shared Services.

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