Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Ameris Bancorp (NASDAQ:ABCB) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report report published on Wednesday.

According to Zacks, “ABC Bancorp is a bank holding company. “

A number of other research firms also recently weighed in on ABCB. BidaskClub raised shares of Ameris Bancorp from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note on Friday, June 30th. SunTrust Banks, Inc. raised shares of Ameris Bancorp from a hold rating to a buy rating and set a $55.00 price target on the stock in a research note on Wednesday, April 26th. Stephens reaffirmed a buy rating and set a $54.00 price target on shares of Ameris Bancorp in a research note on Friday, July 21st. Piper Jaffray Companies reaffirmed a hold rating and set a $48.00 price target on shares of Ameris Bancorp in a research note on Friday, July 21st. Finally, Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reaffirmed a hold rating and set a $51.00 price target on shares of Ameris Bancorp in a research note on Monday, June 26th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have assigned a hold rating and three have given a buy rating to the stock. The stock has a consensus rating of Hold and an average price target of $49.33.

Ameris Bancorp (NASDAQ ABCB) traded down 0.87% during mid-day trading on Wednesday, reaching $45.75. 102,000 shares of the company traded hands. The stock has a 50-day moving average of $47.51 and a 200 day moving average of $46.11. The stock has a market capitalization of $1.70 billion, a PE ratio of 19.65 and a beta of 1.28. Ameris Bancorp has a 52-week low of $32.35 and a 52-week high of $51.28.

Ameris Bancorp (NASDAQ:ABCB) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Friday, July 21st. The bank reported $0.63 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.65 by $0.02. The company had revenue of $91.35 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $92.71 million. Ameris Bancorp had a return on equity of 12.52% and a net margin of 22.66%. Equities research analysts expect that Ameris Bancorp will post $2.55 earnings per share for the current year.

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The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, July 10th. Stockholders of record on Friday, June 30th were paid a $0.10 dividend. This represents a $0.40 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 0.87%. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, June 28th. Ameris Bancorp’s dividend payout ratio is presently 17.09%.

In other news, CAO Cindi H. Lewis sold 3,200 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, June 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $46.00, for a total value of $147,200.00. Following the transaction, the chief accounting officer now owns 70,578 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $3,246,588. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, CEO Edwin W. Hortman, Jr. sold 27,459 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, June 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $46.69, for a total transaction of $1,282,060.71. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 207,725 shares in the company, valued at approximately $9,698,680.25. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders bought 1,860 shares of company stock worth $84,541 and sold 78,474 shares worth $3,691,854. Company insiders own 3.63% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. LS Investment Advisors LLC increased its position in shares of Ameris Bancorp by 126.5% in the first quarter. LS Investment Advisors LLC now owns 2,901 shares of the bank’s stock worth $134,000 after buying an additional 1,620 shares in the last quarter. Ameritas Investment Partners Inc. acquired a new position in shares of Ameris Bancorp during the first quarter worth approximately $136,000. Victory Capital Management Inc. increased its position in shares of Ameris Bancorp by 1.6% in the first quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 3,506 shares of the bank’s stock worth $162,000 after buying an additional 55 shares in the last quarter. First Interstate Bank increased its position in shares of Ameris Bancorp by 8.8% in the first quarter. First Interstate Bank now owns 3,845 shares of the bank’s stock worth $177,000 after buying an additional 310 shares in the last quarter. Finally, State of Alaska Department of Revenue increased its position in shares of Ameris Bancorp by 7.4% in the first quarter. State of Alaska Department of Revenue now owns 4,050 shares of the bank’s stock worth $186,000 after buying an additional 280 shares in the last quarter. 84.23% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Ameris Bancorp

Ameris Bancorp is a financial holding company. The Company’s business is conducted through its banking subsidiary, Ameris Bank (the Bank), which provides a range of banking services to its retail and commercial customers. The Company operates through four segments: the Banking Division, the Retail Mortgage Division, the Warehouse Lending Division and the SBA Division.

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Analyst Recommendations for Ameris Bancorp (NASDAQ:ABCB)

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