Zacks: Meridian Bancorp Inc (EBSB) Given $18.50 Average Price Target by Brokerages

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Meridian Bancorp Inc (NASDAQ:EBSB) has been given a consensus broker rating score of 2.00 (Buy) from the two analysts that cover the stock, Zacks Investment Research reports. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a hold rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company.

Analysts have set a one year consensus price objective of $18.50 for the company and are anticipating that the company will post $0.30 earnings per share for the current quarter, according to Zacks. Zacks has also assigned Meridian Bancorp an industry rank of 87 out of 255 based on the ratings given to related companies.

Several research firms have weighed in on EBSB. BidaskClub raised Meridian Bancorp from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Tuesday. Zacks Investment Research cut Meridian Bancorp from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, October 3rd. Finally, ValuEngine cut Meridian Bancorp from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Friday, August 3rd.

Shares of NASDAQ:EBSB traded up $0.07 on Wednesday, hitting $16.19. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 59,926 shares, compared to its average volume of 225,313. Meridian Bancorp has a 1 year low of $15.25 and a 1 year high of $21.85. The stock has a market cap of $838.07 million, a P/E ratio of 17.04 and a beta of 0.11. The company has a quick ratio of 1.24, a current ratio of 1.24 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.89.

Meridian Bancorp (NASDAQ:EBSB) last released its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, October 23rd. The savings and loans company reported $0.33 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.28 by $0.05. Meridian Bancorp had a return on equity of 9.07% and a net margin of 22.37%. The firm had revenue of $45.04 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $45.10 million. On average, equities research analysts expect that Meridian Bancorp will post 1.06 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, October 2nd. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, September 18th were given a dividend of $0.05 per share. The ex-dividend date was Monday, September 17th. This represents a $0.20 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.24%. Meridian Bancorp’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 21.05%.

Several institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in EBSB. BlackRock Inc. increased its position in shares of Meridian Bancorp by 8.7% during the 1st quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 3,379,452 shares of the savings and loans company’s stock valued at $68,095,000 after purchasing an additional 270,390 shares during the last quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System increased its position in shares of Meridian Bancorp by 10.5% during the 1st quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 34,002 shares of the savings and loans company’s stock valued at $685,000 after purchasing an additional 3,221 shares during the last quarter. Stifel Financial Corp bought a new position in shares of Meridian Bancorp during the 1st quarter valued at about $258,000. UBS Group AG increased its position in shares of Meridian Bancorp by 170.9% during the 1st quarter. UBS Group AG now owns 41,935 shares of the savings and loans company’s stock valued at $845,000 after purchasing an additional 26,457 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Xact Kapitalforvaltning AB increased its position in shares of Meridian Bancorp by 34.8% during the 1st quarter. Xact Kapitalforvaltning AB now owns 13,167 shares of the savings and loans company’s stock valued at $265,000 after purchasing an additional 3,400 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 67.09% of the company’s stock.

About Meridian Bancorp

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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