Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of People’s United Financial, Inc. (NASDAQ:PBCT) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report report published on Wednesday. The brokerage currently has $21.00 price target on the bank’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Shares of People’s United have outperformed the industry in the past three months. Also, the company has a decent earnings surprise history. It surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings in two of the trailing four quarters. In third-quarter 2017, the company reported an earnings beat driven by growth in revenues and lower provisions. Higher expenses were an undermining factor. People’s United is steadily growing through acquisitions, which is likely to continue in the near future, given its strong balance sheet position. Also, People’s United’s improving credit quality and easing margin pressure are tailwinds. The company’s steady capital deployment activities continue to enhance investors’ confidence. However, escalating expenses despite undertaking initiatives to curb costs remain a concern. Also, stretched valuation indicates the stock’s limited upside potential.”

A number of other research firms also recently weighed in on PBCT. Piper Jaffray Companies reiterated a sell rating and set a $17.00 price target on shares of People’s United Financial in a research note on Sunday, October 22nd. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reiterated a hold rating on shares of People’s United Financial in a research note on Monday, July 10th. Morgan Stanley reiterated an equal weight rating and set a $17.75 price target (up previously from $17.50) on shares of People’s United Financial in a research note on Friday, July 7th. BidaskClub downgraded shares of People’s United Financial from a sell rating to a strong sell rating in a research note on Monday, July 24th. Finally, Jefferies Group LLC reiterated a hold rating and set a $19.00 price target on shares of People’s United Financial in a research note on Friday, August 18th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have given a hold rating and one has given a buy rating to the company. People’s United Financial presently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $19.08.

People’s United Financial (NASDAQ:PBCT) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, October 19th. The bank reported $0.26 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.25 by $0.01. People’s United Financial had a net margin of 19.32% and a return on equity of 6.28%. The firm had revenue of $373.90 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $374.59 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company earned $0.24 earnings per share. The business’s revenue was up 11.2% compared to the same quarter last year.

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The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, November 15th. Investors of record on Wednesday, November 1st will be issued a $0.1725 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, October 31st. This represents a $0.69 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.70%. People’s United Financial’s dividend payout ratio is 75.83%.

In other news, Director Mark W. Richards sold 26,732 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, October 24th. The stock was sold at an average price of $18.89, for a total value of $504,967.48. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 332,668 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $6,284,098.52. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, insider Sara M. Longobardi sold 43,450 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, October 23rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $18.68, for a total value of $811,646.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 381,491 shares of company stock valued at $7,173,247 over the last ninety days. 2.70% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Several hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in PBCT. OppenheimerFunds Inc. bought a new stake in shares of People’s United Financial in the 1st quarter valued at about $208,000. FMR LLC increased its stake in shares of People’s United Financial by 6.5% in the 1st quarter. FMR LLC now owns 163,803 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $2,981,000 after acquiring an additional 10,015 shares during the last quarter. Teachers Advisors LLC increased its stake in shares of People’s United Financial by 16.9% in the 1st quarter. Teachers Advisors LLC now owns 436,464 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $7,944,000 after acquiring an additional 62,990 shares during the last quarter. Thrivent Financial For Lutherans increased its stake in shares of People’s United Financial by 16.5% in the 1st quarter. Thrivent Financial For Lutherans now owns 12,580 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $229,000 after acquiring an additional 1,780 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Morgan Stanley increased its stake in shares of People’s United Financial by 16.2% in the 1st quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 1,573,328 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $28,634,000 after acquiring an additional 219,099 shares during the last quarter. 76.90% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

About People’s United Financial

People’s United Financial, Inc is a bank holding company and a financial holding company of People’s United Bank (the Bank). The Bank is engaged in providing commercial banking, retail banking and wealth management services to individual, corporate and municipal customers. The Company operates through two segments: Commercial Banking and Retail Banking.

Analyst Recommendations for People`s United Financial (NASDAQ:PBCT)

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