Zacks Investment Research Lowers East West Bancorp (EWBC) to Sell

Zacks Investment Research cut shares of East West Bancorp (NASDAQ:EWBC) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note released on Monday morning.

According to Zacks, “East West Bancorp's shares have underperformed the industry over the past year. Yet, the company has an impressive earnings surprise history, surpassing the Zacks Consensus Estimate in three out of the trailing four quarters. The bank has been witnessing a steady rise in operating expenses, which is expected to hurt profitability. Also, rise in provisions for loan losses due to worsening asset quality is expected to hamper profitability to some extent. However, earnings estimates have been going upward ahead of the company’s fourth quarter results. Although the increase in loans and deposits along with rising interest rates are expected to support revenues, the company’s high exposures to commercial real estate loans remains  a concern.”

A number of other brokerages have also issued reports on EWBC. DA Davidson upgraded shares of East West Bancorp from a neutral rating to a buy rating in a research report on Monday, October 22nd. Barclays restated a buy rating and set a $69.00 target price on shares of East West Bancorp in a research report on Friday, January 11th. ValuEngine upgraded shares of East West Bancorp from a strong sell rating to a sell rating in a research report on Wednesday, January 2nd. BMO Capital Markets decreased their target price on shares of East West Bancorp from $73.00 to $68.00 and set an outperform rating on the stock in a research report on Friday, October 19th. Finally, BidaskClub lowered shares of East West Bancorp from a sell rating to a strong sell rating in a research report on Thursday, December 13th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, two have assigned a hold rating and eight have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $70.00.

EWBC stock opened at $49.35 on Monday. The company has a market capitalization of $7.14 billion, a PE ratio of 11.32, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 0.92 and a beta of 1.49. East West Bancorp has a 12 month low of $40.05 and a 12 month high of $73.98. The company has a current ratio of 1.01, a quick ratio of 1.01 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.11.

East West Bancorp (NASDAQ:EWBC) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, October 18th. The financial services provider reported $1.17 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.14 by $0.03. East West Bancorp had a net margin of 34.80% and a return on equity of 15.70%. The firm had revenue of $395.22 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $398.25 million. During the same quarter last year, the business earned $0.91 earnings per share. Equities analysts anticipate that East West Bancorp will post 4.63 EPS for the current fiscal year.

A number of large investors have recently bought and sold shares of EWBC. Federated Investors Inc. PA raised its stake in East West Bancorp by 306.3% during the third quarter. Federated Investors Inc. PA now owns 1,354,817 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $81,791,000 after purchasing an additional 1,021,359 shares during the period. Bank of New York Mellon Corp raised its stake in East West Bancorp by 15.1% during the second quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 4,771,173 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $311,079,000 after purchasing an additional 627,329 shares during the period. BlackRock Inc. raised its stake in East West Bancorp by 2.1% during the third quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 14,937,639 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $901,784,000 after purchasing an additional 305,805 shares during the period. Marshall Wace LLP raised its stake in East West Bancorp by 2,245.0% during the third quarter. Marshall Wace LLP now owns 201,644 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $12,173,000 after purchasing an additional 193,045 shares during the period. Finally, Vanguard Group Inc raised its stake in East West Bancorp by 1.4% during the third quarter. Vanguard Group Inc now owns 13,297,189 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $802,751,000 after purchasing an additional 187,861 shares during the period. 87.79% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

East West Bancorp Company Profile

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 small and medium-sized businesses, business executives, professionals, and other individuals in the United States and Greater China. It operates through three segments: Retail Banking, Commercial Banking, and Other.

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