United Community Banks, Inc. (UCBI) Stock Rating Upgraded by Zacks Investment Research

United Community Banks, Inc. (NASDAQ:UCBI) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report released on Friday. The brokerage presently has a $32.00 target price on the financial services provider’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price target would indicate a potential upside of 13.68% from the stock’s current price.

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. “

UCBI has been the topic of a number of other reports. BidaskClub cut shares of United Community Banks from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, July 13th. Raymond James Financial, Inc. cut their price objective on shares of United Community Banks from $32.00 to $31.00 and set a “strong-buy” rating on the stock in a research note on Thursday, July 27th. SunTrust Banks, Inc. restated a “buy” rating and set a $33.00 price objective on shares of United Community Banks in a research note on Thursday, October 12th. Stephens restated a “hold” rating and set a $29.00 price objective on shares of United Community Banks in a research note on Wednesday, July 26th. Finally, FIG Partners upgraded shares of United Community Banks from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and set a $32.00 price objective on the stock in a research note on Wednesday, August 16th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have assigned a hold rating, six have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $31.25.

United Community Banks (NASDAQ:UCBI) traded down 0.25% during trading on Friday, hitting $28.15. 360,614 shares of the stock were exchanged. The company has a market cap of $2.00 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 19.28 and a beta of 0.87. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $27.64 and its 200-day moving average is $27.24. United Community Banks has a one year low of $21.01 and a one year high of $30.47.

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

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In related news, EVP Robert A. Edwards sold 11,550 shares of United Community Banks stock in a transaction dated Friday, August 11th. The stock was sold at an average price of $26.06, for a total transaction of $300,993.00. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 16,858 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $439,319.48. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. 2.18% of the stock is owned by insiders.

A number of large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in UCBI. BlackRock Inc. grew its holdings in 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 worth $255,666,000 after acquiring an additional 9,187,487 shares during the period. Vaughan Nelson Investment Management L.P. acquired a new position in United Community Banks during the second quarter worth about $46,246,000. State Street Corp grew its holdings in 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 worth $91,081,000 after acquiring an additional 1,151,048 shares during the period. Vanguard Group Inc. grew its holdings in 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 worth $169,237,000 after acquiring an additional 451,364 shares during the period. Finally, Schroder Investment Management Group grew its holdings in 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 worth $63,076,000 after acquiring an additional 276,341 shares during the period. 86.70% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About United Community Banks

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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