Meridian Bancorp (EBSB) Raised to Buy at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Meridian Bancorp (NASDAQ:EBSB) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report sent to investors on Friday. They currently have $17.00 price target on the savings and loans company’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Meridian Bancorp Inc. is a bank holding company for East Boston Savings Bank. The Bank provides financial services to individuals and businesses. It accepts various deposit products, including non-interest-bearing demand deposits; interest-bearing demand accounts; savings accounts; and certificates of deposits, as well as commercial checking accounts. The company also offers loan products consisting of commercial real estate loans, one-to four-family residential loans, multi-family real estate loans, construction loans, commercial business loans, home equity lines of credit, automobile loans, loans secured by passbook or certificate accounts, and overdraft loans. Meridian Bancorp Inc., formerly known as Meridian Interstate Bancorp, Inc., is based in Peabody, Massachusetts. “

Separately, BidaskClub upgraded shares of Meridian Bancorp from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research report on Tuesday, December 25th.

Shares of NASDAQ EBSB opened at $15.02 on Friday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.90, a current ratio of 1.24 and a quick ratio of 1.24. The company has a market cap of $819.40 million, a P/E ratio of 15.81 and a beta of 0.39. Meridian Bancorp has a 12-month low of $13.67 and a 12-month high of $21.85.

Meridian Bancorp (NASDAQ:EBSB) last announced its earnings results on Tuesday, October 23rd. The savings and loans company reported $0.33 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.28 by $0.05. The company had revenue of $45.04 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $45.10 million. Meridian Bancorp had a net margin of 22.37% and a return on equity of 8.99%. Equities research analysts anticipate that Meridian Bancorp will post 1.12 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, January 2nd. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, December 18th were given a $0.07 dividend. This is a positive change from Meridian Bancorp’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.05. This represents a $0.28 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.86%. The ex-dividend date was Monday, December 17th. Meridian Bancorp’s dividend payout ratio is presently 29.47%.

In other Meridian Bancorp news, Director James G. Sartori sold 2,400 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, November 30th. The shares were sold at an average price of $16.25, for a total value of $39,000.00. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Over the last quarter, insiders sold 3,700 shares of company stock valued at $59,551. Company insiders own 5.30% of the company’s stock.

Large investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Flagship Harbor Advisors LLC bought a new position in shares of Meridian Bancorp during the second quarter worth $111,000. Caxton Associates LP bought a new position in shares of Meridian Bancorp during the third quarter worth $184,000. HRT Financial LLC bought a new position in shares of Meridian Bancorp during the third quarter worth $188,000. Capital Fund Management S.A. bought a new position in shares of Meridian Bancorp during the third quarter worth $197,000. Finally, Alps Advisors Inc. boosted its position in shares of Meridian Bancorp by 22.7% during the third quarter. Alps Advisors Inc. now owns 27,819 shares of the savings and loans company’s stock worth $473,000 after acquiring an additional 5,145 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 66.17% of the company’s stock.

Meridian Bancorp Company Profile

Meridian Bancorp, Inc operates as the holding company for East Boston Savings Bank that provides various financial products and services for individuals and businesses primarily in Essex, Middlesex, Norfolk, and Suffolk Counties, Massachusetts. The company accepts various deposit products, including non-interest-bearing demand deposits, such as checking accounts; interest-bearing demand accounts comprising NOW and money market accounts; savings accounts; and certificates of deposits, as well as commercial checking accounts.

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