Zacks Investment Research Downgrades Howard Bancorp (HBMD) to Strong Sell

Howard Bancorp (NASDAQ:HBMD) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a report issued on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “Howard Bancorp, Inc., headquartered in Ellicott City, Maryland, operates as a holding company for Howard Bank that provides a range of commercial and retail banking services in Maryland. It offers various deposits products, such as community business, business relationship, business solutions, super, howard relationship, and howard maximum checking accounts; individual retirement accounts; business, junior, and personal savings accounts; anniversary, incentive, and business money market accounts; and certificates of deposits. The company’s loan portfolio comprises commercial construction, commercial real estate, home equity, and consumer installment loans; and commercial and unsecured lines of credit. Howard Bancorp also provides business and personal online banking and Web BillPay services, ATM cards, business credit cards, and cash management, lockbox processing, and wire transfers services. “

Separately, Merion Capital Group raised Howard Bancorp from a “neutral” rating to an “outperform” rating and set a $23.00 target price on the stock in a research report on Friday, February 9th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have issued a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $23.00.

Howard Bancorp (NASDAQ:HBMD) traded down $0.20 during midday trading on Tuesday, hitting $19.80. The stock had a trading volume of 40,321 shares, compared to its average volume of 23,947. The company has a market cap of $195.31, a P/E ratio of 25.38 and a beta of 0.27. The company has a current ratio of 1.00, a quick ratio of 0.95 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.05. Howard Bancorp has a 52-week low of $16.70 and a 52-week high of $24.20.

Howard Bancorp (NASDAQ:HBMD) last released its earnings results on Monday, January 22nd. The financial services provider reported $0.21 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.22 by ($0.01). The company had revenue of $14.53 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $15.35 million. Howard Bancorp had a net margin of 11.51% and a return on equity of 5.76%. research analysts expect that Howard Bancorp will post 1.25 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In other Howard Bancorp news, Director Robert J. Hartson sold 7,500 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, December 19th. The stock was sold at an average price of $23.15, for a total value of $173,625.00. Following the transaction, the director now owns 159,276 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $3,687,239.40. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Corporate insiders own 10.59% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the business. Brown Advisory Inc. grew its position in Howard Bancorp by 1.1% in the 3rd quarter. Brown Advisory Inc. now owns 349,577 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $7,305,000 after acquiring an additional 3,734 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. grew its position in Howard Bancorp by 1.0% in the 4th quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 403,346 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $8,874,000 after acquiring an additional 3,901 shares during the last quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. grew its position in Howard Bancorp by 23.5% in the 3rd quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 23,309 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $484,000 after acquiring an additional 4,436 shares during the last quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. bought a new position in Howard Bancorp in the 3rd quarter valued at $118,000. Finally, SG Americas Securities LLC bought a new position in Howard Bancorp in the 4th quarter valued at $150,000. 64.85% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

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About Howard Bancorp

Howard Bancorp, Inc is the bank holding company of Howard Bank. The Company’s primary business is to own all of the capital stock of Howard Bank. The Company operates through Community Banking segment. Howard Bank is a trust company, which has approximately four operating subsidiaries. The Company offers a range of services to its customers, including wire transfer services, automated teller machine (ATM) and check cards, ATMs at all of its service branch locations, safe deposit boxes at all service locations and credit cards through a third-party processor.

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