Zacks: Analysts Set $18.50 Target Price for Meridian Bancorp Inc (EBSB)

Shares of Meridian Bancorp Inc (NASDAQ:EBSB) have earned a consensus broker rating score of 3.00 (Hold) from the one analysts that provide coverage for the company, Zacks Investment Research reports. One research analyst has rated the stock with a hold recommendation. Meridian Bancorp’s rating score has declined by 50% from three months ago as a result of various analysts’ upgrades and downgrades.

Brokerages have set a 1 year consensus price target of $18.50 for the company and are anticipating that the company will post $0.30 EPS for the current quarter, according to Zacks. Zacks has also assigned Meridian Bancorp an industry rank of 106 out of 257 based on the ratings given to related companies.

A number of analysts have weighed in on the stock. BidaskClub cut shares of Meridian Bancorp from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Wednesday, August 22nd. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Meridian Bancorp from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, October 3rd.

EBSB stock opened at $14.99 on Friday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.90, a quick ratio of 1.24 and a current ratio of 1.24. Meridian Bancorp has a twelve month low of $14.97 and a twelve month high of $21.85. The company has a market cap of $811.81 million, a price-to-earnings ratio of 15.78 and a beta of 0.21.

Meridian Bancorp (NASDAQ:EBSB) last released its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, October 23rd. The savings and loans company reported $0.33 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.28 by $0.05. Meridian Bancorp had a net margin of 22.37% and a return on equity of 8.99%. The company had revenue of $45.04 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $45.10 million. As a group, analysts predict that Meridian Bancorp will post 1.12 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, January 2nd. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, December 18th will be issued a dividend of $0.07 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, December 17th. This represents a $0.28 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.87%. This is a boost from Meridian Bancorp’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.05. Meridian Bancorp’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 21.05%.

In other Meridian Bancorp news, Director James G. Sartori sold 2,400 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, November 30th. The shares were sold at an average price of $16.25, for a total transaction of $39,000.00. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. In the last three months, insiders have sold 3,700 shares of company stock worth $59,551. 5.30% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

A number of hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Monarch Partners Asset Management LLC grew its position in shares of Meridian Bancorp by 63.9% during the third quarter. Monarch Partners Asset Management LLC now owns 1,226,226 shares of the savings and loans company’s stock worth $20,846,000 after acquiring an additional 477,852 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. grew its position in shares of Meridian Bancorp by 8.8% during the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 3,677,833 shares of the savings and loans company’s stock worth $70,430,000 after acquiring an additional 298,381 shares during the last quarter. Matarin Capital Management LLC purchased a new position in shares of Meridian Bancorp during the third quarter worth approximately $2,971,000. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP grew its position in shares of Meridian Bancorp by 5.7% during the second quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 2,676,878 shares of the savings and loans company’s stock worth $51,263,000 after acquiring an additional 145,466 shares during the last quarter. Finally, FSI Group LLC purchased a new position in shares of Meridian Bancorp during the third quarter worth approximately $2,199,000. 66.17% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

Meridian Bancorp Company Profile

Meridian Bancorp, Inc operates as the holding company for East Boston Savings Bank that provides various financial products and services for individuals and businesses primarily in Essex, Middlesex, Norfolk, and Suffolk Counties, Massachusetts. The company accepts various deposit products, including non-interest-bearing demand deposits, such as checking accounts; interest-bearing demand accounts comprising NOW and money market accounts; savings accounts; and certificates of deposits, as well as commercial checking accounts.

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