Sandy Spring Bancorp (NASDAQ:SASR) Upgraded by Zacks Investment Research to “Hold”

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Sandy Spring Bancorp (NASDAQ:SASR) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research report sent to investors on Friday morning, Zacks.com reports.

According to Zacks, “SANDY SPRING is a bank holding company for Sandy Spring National Bank of Maryland. The bank is community oriented, and conducts a full-service commercial banking business through community offices located in Montgomery, Howard, Prince George’s and Anne Arundel counties in Maryland. “

SASR has been the subject of a number of other reports. BidaskClub lowered shares of Sandy Spring Bancorp from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report on Friday, August 9th. Boenning Scattergood began coverage on shares of Sandy Spring Bancorp in a report on Monday, June 24th. They set a buy rating and a $37.25 price target for the company. Four analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $37.85.

Shares of SASR stock traded up $0.88 during mid-day trading on Friday, reaching $33.82. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 69,600 shares, compared to its average volume of 135,490. The company’s 50 day simple moving average is $35.14 and its 200-day simple moving average is $33.86. Sandy Spring Bancorp has a 12-month low of $29.83 and a 12-month high of $40.56. The company has a quick ratio of 1.03, a current ratio of 1.02 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.55. The firm has a market capitalization of $1.18 billion, a PE ratio of 11.83, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.70 and a beta of 0.84.

Sandy Spring Bancorp (NASDAQ:SASR) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 18th. The bank reported $0.79 earnings per share for the quarter, meeting the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.79. The business had revenue of $82.74 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $82.39 million. Sandy Spring Bancorp had a net margin of 27.80% and a return on equity of 10.14%. The business’s revenue was up 5.1% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the business earned $0.68 EPS. As a group, research analysts anticipate that Sandy Spring Bancorp will post 3.24 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, August 21st. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, August 14th will be given a $0.30 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, August 13th. This represents a $1.20 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.55%. Sandy Spring Bancorp’s payout ratio is currently 41.96%.

Several institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of SASR. BlackRock Inc. lifted its position in shares of Sandy Spring Bancorp by 16.6% in the 2nd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 3,436,120 shares of the bank’s stock worth $119,852,000 after buying an additional 488,194 shares during the last quarter. Norges Bank bought a new stake in Sandy Spring Bancorp in the 4th quarter valued at about $14,552,000. Nuveen Asset Management LLC bought a new stake in Sandy Spring Bancorp in the 2nd quarter valued at about $14,713,000. William Blair Investment Management LLC lifted its position in Sandy Spring Bancorp by 38.4% in the 1st quarter. William Blair Investment Management LLC now owns 552,932 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $17,296,000 after purchasing an additional 153,428 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Dimensional Fund Advisors LP lifted its position in Sandy Spring Bancorp by 5.8% in the 4th quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 2,520,969 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $79,007,000 after purchasing an additional 137,653 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 68.12% of the company’s stock.

About Sandy Spring Bancorp

Sandy Spring Bancorp, Inc operates as the bank holding company for Sandy Spring Bank that provides commercial banking services to individuals and businesses in central Maryland, Northern Virginia, and Washington DC The company operates in three segments: Community Banking, Insurance, and Investment Management.

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