Zions Bancorporation (ZION) Upgraded by Zacks Investment Research to “Buy”

Zions Bancorporation (NASDAQ:ZION) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Thursday, July 13th. The brokerage currently has a $50.00 target price on the bank’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price target suggests a potential upside of 13.35% from the company’s current price.

According to Zacks, “Zions’ shares have outperformed the Zacks categorized Banks-West industry over the last six months. The company has been witnessing consistent growth in loans and deposits along with easing margin pressure, indicating improvement in revenues in the quarters ahead. Moreover, once the Financial Choice Act gets implemented, the company is likely to increase lending activities, which should lead to further improvement in top-line. Also, Zions’ initiatives to control expenses have been successful and are expected to aid bottom line growth in the quarters ahead. Moreover, Fed’s approval to the 2017 capital plan remains encouraging. However, a risky loan portfolio along with concentration risk could hurt the company’s financials, going forward.”

Other equities research analysts have also recently issued reports about the stock. Jefferies Group LLC reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $49.00 price objective on shares of Zions Bancorporation in a report on Wednesday, April 5th. Compass Point upgraded shares of Zions Bancorporation from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, March 29th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. BidaskClub upgraded shares of Zions Bancorporation from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, June 13th. Deutsche Bank AG upgraded shares of Zions Bancorporation from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and upped their price target for the company from $45.00 to $46.00 in a report on Thursday, May 4th. Finally, Morgan Stanley restated an “equal weight” rating and set a $43.00 price target on shares of Zions Bancorporation in a report on Friday, May 19th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, thirteen have issued a hold rating and twelve have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $44.04.

Shares of Zions Bancorporation (ZION) traded down 0.74% on Thursday, reaching $44.11. The company had a trading volume of 1,898,145 shares. The firm has a market capitalization of $8.92 billion, a P/E ratio of 17.56 and a beta of 1.44. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $44.47 and its 200 day moving average price is $42.74. Zions Bancorporation has a 52 week low of $27.77 and a 52 week high of $48.33.

Zions Bancorporation (NASDAQ:ZION) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, July 25th. The bank reported $0.73 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.62 by $0.11. Zions Bancorporation had a net margin of 21.97% and a return on equity of 8.14%. The business had revenue of $660 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $640.34 million. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $0.44 EPS. On average, analysts expect that Zions Bancorporation will post $2.82 EPS for the current year.

Zions Bancorporation declared that its Board of Directors has initiated a share repurchase plan on Wednesday, June 28th that allows the company to repurchase $465.00 million in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization allows the bank to purchase up to 5.3% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are usually an indication that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.

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In other Zions Bancorporation news, General Counsel Thomas E. Laursen sold 1,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, August 4th. The shares were sold at an average price of $46.38, for a total value of $46,380.00. Following the transaction, the general counsel now directly owns 23,484 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,089,187.92. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, insider David E. Blackford sold 9,533 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, July 28th. The shares were sold at an average price of $44.94, for a total transaction of $428,413.02. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 22,997 shares in the company, valued at $1,033,485.18. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders sold 26,779 shares of company stock worth $1,128,012. Insiders own 1.46% of the company’s stock.

Several large investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. Advisor Group Inc. raised its stake in shares of Zions Bancorporation by 20.8% in the second quarter. Advisor Group Inc. now owns 5,234 shares of the bank’s stock worth $229,000 after buying an additional 901 shares during the last quarter. Nordea Investment Management AB raised its stake in shares of Zions Bancorporation by 251.5% in the second quarter. Nordea Investment Management AB now owns 8,988 shares of the bank’s stock worth $395,000 after buying an additional 6,431 shares during the last quarter. Cibc World Markets Corp raised its stake in shares of Zions Bancorporation by 35.4% in the second quarter. Cibc World Markets Corp now owns 28,635 shares of the bank’s stock worth $1,257,000 after buying an additional 7,480 shares during the last quarter. Hanseatic Management Services Inc. raised its stake in shares of Zions Bancorporation by 3.1% in the second quarter. Hanseatic Management Services Inc. now owns 53,997 shares of the bank’s stock worth $2,371,000 after buying an additional 1,610 shares during the last quarter. Finally, M&T Bank Corp raised its stake in shares of Zions Bancorporation by 12.3% in the second quarter. M&T Bank Corp now owns 11,661 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $511,000 after buying an additional 1,280 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 94.93% of the company’s stock.

Zions Bancorporation Company Profile

Zions Bancorporation is a financial holding company. The Company conducts its banking operations through separately managed and branded segments, including Zions Bank, Amegy Bank, California Bank & Trust, National Bank of Arizona, Nevada State Bank (NSB), Vectra Bank Colorado, The Commerce Bank of Washington (TCBW) and Other.

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