Zacks Investment Research cut shares of United Community Banks, Inc. (NASDAQ:UCBI) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report issued on Saturday.

According to Zacks, “United Community Bank is a bank holding company. United conducts its operations through a community-focused operating model of separate community banks, which, as of December 31, 2016, operated at 139 locations throughout the Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, Georgia, and Gainesville, Georgia metropolitan statistical areas, upstate and coastal South Carolina, north and coastal Georgia, western North Carolina, and east Tennessee. The community banks offer a range of retail and corporate banking services, including checking, savings and time deposit accounts, secured and unsecured loans, wire transfers, brokerage services and other financial services. The Company operates through its subsidiary, United Community Bank, Blairsville, Georgia (the Bank). The Bank owns an insurance agency, United Community Insurance Services, Inc., known as United Community Advisory Services, which is a subsidiary of the Bank. “

Several other brokerages have also issued reports on UCBI. FIG Partners raised United Community Banks from a market perform rating to an outperform rating and set a $32.00 target price for the company in a research note on Wednesday, August 16th. Stephens reaffirmed a hold rating and issued a $29.00 target price on shares of United Community Banks in a research note on Wednesday, July 26th. BidaskClub lowered United Community Banks from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note on Wednesday, August 9th. SunTrust Banks, Inc. reaffirmed a buy rating and issued a $33.00 target price on shares of United Community Banks in a research note on Thursday, October 12th. Finally, Raymond James Financial, Inc. cut their target price on United Community Banks from $32.00 to $31.00 and set a strong-buy rating for the company in a research note on Thursday, July 27th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have issued a hold rating, six have issued a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. United Community Banks presently has a consensus rating of Buy and an average target price of $31.25.

Shares of United Community Banks (NASDAQ:UCBI) opened at 27.42 on Friday. United Community Banks has a 1-year low of $21.01 and a 1-year high of $30.47. The firm has a market capitalization of $1.95 billion, a P/E ratio of 18.78 and a beta of 0.87. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $27.76 and a 200-day moving average of $27.26.

United Community Banks (NASDAQ:UCBI) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, October 24th. The financial services provider reported $0.41 EPS for the quarter, hitting the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.41. The company had revenue of $109.35 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $114.65 million. United Community Banks had a return on equity of 10.31% and a net margin of 23.09%. United Community Banks’s revenue was up 3.5% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $0.36 earnings per share. On average, equities analysts expect that United Community Banks will post $1.62 earnings per share for the current year.

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The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, October 5th. Stockholders of record on Friday, September 15th were paid a dividend of $0.10 per share. This represents a $0.40 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.46%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, September 14th. This is a positive change from United Community Banks’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.09. United Community Banks’s dividend payout ratio is 27.03%.

In other news, EVP Robert A. Edwards sold 11,550 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, August 11th. The stock was sold at an average price of $26.06, for a total transaction of $300,993.00. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now owns 16,858 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $439,319.48. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Corporate insiders own 2.18% of the company’s stock.

Several large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in UCBI. BlackRock Inc. boosted its stake in shares of United Community Banks by 20,108.8% during the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 9,233,176 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $255,666,000 after purchasing an additional 9,187,487 shares during the period. Vaughan Nelson Investment Management L.P. purchased a new stake in shares of United Community Banks during the second quarter valued at approximately $46,246,000. State Street Corp boosted its stake in shares of United Community Banks by 53.8% during the first quarter. State Street Corp now owns 3,289,230 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $91,081,000 after purchasing an additional 1,151,048 shares during the period. Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its stake in shares of United Community Banks by 8.0% during the first quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 6,111,857 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $169,237,000 after purchasing an additional 451,364 shares during the period. Finally, Schroder Investment Management Group boosted its stake in shares of United Community Banks by 14.0% during the second quarter. Schroder Investment Management Group now owns 2,255,122 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $63,076,000 after purchasing an additional 276,341 shares during the period. 87.18% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

United Community Banks Company Profile

United Community Banks, Inc (United) is a bank holding company. United conducts its operations through a community-focused operating model of separate community banks, which, as of December 31, 2016, operated at 139 locations throughout the Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, Georgia, and Gainesville, Georgia metropolitan statistical areas, upstate and coastal South Carolina, north and coastal Georgia, western North Carolina, and east Tennessee.

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Analyst Recommendations for United Community Banks (NASDAQ:UCBI)

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