Zacks Investment Research Upgrades United Community Banks (NASDAQ:UCBI) to “Buy”

United Community Banks (NASDAQ:UCBI) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note issued on Friday, reports. The brokerage currently has a $34.00 target price on the financial services provider’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price target would indicate a potential upside of 9.32% from the stock’s previous close.

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. “

A number of other analysts also recently weighed in on the company. BidaskClub downgraded United Community Banks from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Monday, November 25th. ValuEngine cut shares of United Community Banks from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Tuesday, October 15th. SunTrust Banks reduced their price target on shares of United Community Banks from $30.00 to $29.00 and set a “hold” rating on the stock in a research report on Tuesday, August 27th. DA Davidson assumed coverage on shares of United Community Banks in a research note on Tuesday, August 20th. They set a “neutral” rating on the stock. Finally, Stephens restated a “hold” rating and issued a $29.00 price objective on shares of United Community Banks in a report on Tuesday, October 22nd. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have issued a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the stock. United Community Banks has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $31.00.

NASDAQ UCBI opened at $31.10 on Friday. The stock’s 50-day simple moving average is $30.67 and its two-hundred day simple moving average is $28.28. United Community Banks has a twelve month low of $20.23 and a twelve month high of $31.66. The company has a quick ratio of 0.85, a current ratio of 0.85 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.17. The company has a market capitalization of $2.46 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 14.53 and a beta of 1.28.

United Community Banks (NASDAQ:UCBI) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, October 22nd. The financial services provider reported $0.63 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.58 by $0.05. The firm had revenue of $148.37 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $143.91 million. United Community Banks had a return on equity of 12.24% and a net margin of 27.87%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 8.9% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the business earned $0.55 EPS. On average, equities analysts expect that United Community Banks will post 2.36 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In other news, CAO Alan H. Kumler sold 3,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, September 11th. The stock was sold at an average price of $28.00, for a total value of $84,000.00. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. In the last quarter, insiders sold 11,924 shares of company stock worth $347,834. Company insiders own 1.18% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Advisory Services Network LLC purchased a new position in United Community Banks in the 2nd quarter worth approximately $25,000. First Mercantile Trust Co. purchased a new stake in shares of United Community Banks during the second quarter valued at approximately $54,000. Strs Ohio bought a new position in shares of United Community Banks in the second quarter worth approximately $65,000. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank grew its holdings in shares of United Community Banks by 20.0% in the third quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank now owns 4,837 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $137,000 after purchasing an additional 805 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Amundi Pioneer Asset Management Inc. purchased a new position in shares of United Community Banks in the first quarter worth $165,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 90.91% of the company’s stock.

About United Community Banks

United Community Banks, Inc operates as the bank holding company for United Community Bank that provides retail and corporate banking services to individuals and businesses. It offers various deposit accounts, such as checking accounts, savings and time deposits accounts, NOW accounts, money market deposits, and certificates of deposit.

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