Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Ameris Bancorp (NASDAQ:ABCB) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note released on Tuesday morning. Zacks Investment Research currently has $56.00 price target on the bank’s stock.

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

Other research analysts also recently issued reports about the stock. BidaskClub upgraded shares of Ameris Bancorp from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research report on Wednesday, December 20th. Piper Jaffray Companies set a $50.00 price objective on shares of Ameris Bancorp and gave the stock a hold rating in a report on Monday, October 23rd. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reaffirmed a hold rating and issued a $52.00 price objective on shares of Ameris Bancorp in a report on Thursday, October 26th. Stephens reaffirmed a buy rating and issued a $52.00 price objective on shares of Ameris Bancorp in a report on Thursday, September 28th. Finally, ValuEngine cut shares of Ameris Bancorp from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report on Thursday, November 9th. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating to the company. Ameris Bancorp presently has a consensus rating of Buy and an average target price of $53.00.

Ameris Bancorp (ABCB) traded up $0.10 during trading on Tuesday, hitting $51.15. 282,335 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 310,314. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.11, a quick ratio of 1.04 and a current ratio of 1.07. Ameris Bancorp has a one year low of $41.05 and a one year high of $51.85. The company has a market cap of $1,890.00, a P/E ratio of 22.73 and a beta of 1.20.

Ameris Bancorp (NASDAQ:ABCB) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, October 19th. The bank reported $0.63 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.65 by ($0.02). Ameris Bancorp had a return on equity of 12.12% and a net margin of 21.57%. The business had revenue of $93.85 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $96.89 million. equities analysts expect that Ameris Bancorp will post 2.48 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, January 10th. Investors of record on Friday, December 29th will be issued a $0.10 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, December 28th. This represents a $0.40 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 0.78%. Ameris Bancorp’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 17.78%.

In related news, insider James A. Lahaise sold 14,200 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, December 13th. The shares were sold at an average price of $46.58, for a total value of $661,436.00. Following the sale, the insider now owns 73,986 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $3,446,267.88. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. 3.63% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Several hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in ABCB. Oak Ridge Investments LLC increased its holdings in shares of Ameris Bancorp by 228.9% in the 3rd quarter. Oak Ridge Investments LLC now owns 542,628 shares of the bank’s stock worth $26,046,000 after acquiring an additional 377,628 shares during the period. JPMorgan Chase & Co. increased its stake in Ameris Bancorp by 169.9% during the 3rd quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 139,584 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $6,687,000 after buying an additional 87,876 shares during the period. State Street Corp increased its stake in Ameris Bancorp by 7.3% during the 2nd quarter. State Street Corp now owns 1,258,947 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $60,687,000 after buying an additional 85,137 shares during the period. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its stake in Ameris Bancorp by 2.6% during the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 2,588,877 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $124,784,000 after buying an additional 65,815 shares during the period. Finally, GSA Capital Partners LLP acquired a new position in Ameris Bancorp during the 2nd quarter valued at about $1,746,000. 81.98% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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Ameris Bancorp Company Profile

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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