Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Associated Banc-Corp (NYSE:ASB) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note issued to investors on Wednesday morning.

According to Zacks, “Associated Banc-Corp’s shares have outperformed the industry in the last three months. The company has an impressive earnings surprise history, having surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate in three of the trailing four quarters. The company’s third-quarter 2017 earnings benefited from higher net interest income and a fall in credit costs, partially offset by a marginal increase in expenses and lower fee income. Higher interest rates, rise in loan demand and improving asset quality should support its profitability. Acquisition of Whitnell and deal to acquire Bank Mutual are expected to be accretive its earnings going forward. However, mounting expenses mainly due to continued investment in franchise, and merger and integration costs remains a key near-term concern. Also, increased dependence on commercial loans and lack of geographic exposure make us apprehensive.”

ASB has been the subject of several other reports. Robert W. Baird reissued a hold rating and issued a $25.00 price target on shares of Associated Banc-Corp in a report on Sunday, October 1st. SunTrust Banks, Inc. set a $26.00 price objective on shares of Associated Banc-Corp and gave the stock a hold rating in a report on Saturday, October 21st. Jefferies Group LLC reaffirmed a hold rating and set a $27.00 price objective on shares of Associated Banc-Corp in a report on Friday, July 14th. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reaffirmed a hold rating and set a $26.00 price objective on shares of Associated Banc-Corp in a report on Tuesday, August 22nd. Finally, BidaskClub downgraded shares of Associated Banc-Corp from a sell rating to a strong sell rating in a report on Saturday, August 12th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating and thirteen have issued a hold rating to the company. The stock has an average rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $25.82.

Associated Banc-Corp (ASB) traded down $0.25 during trading hours on Wednesday, hitting $25.15. 400,748 shares of the stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 812,856. The stock has a market cap of $3,801.80, a price-to-earnings ratio of 17.23, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.41 and a beta of 1.20. Associated Banc-Corp has a 52-week low of $19.65 and a 52-week high of $26.70. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.03, a quick ratio of 0.89 and a current ratio of 0.90.

Associated Banc-Corp (NYSE:ASB) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, October 19th. The bank reported $0.41 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.36 by $0.05. Associated Banc-Corp had a net margin of 19.54% and a return on equity of 7.81%. The firm had revenue of $276.02 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $276.88 million. During the same period last year, the firm earned $0.31 EPS. equities research analysts forecast that Associated Banc-Corp will post 1.49 EPS for the current year.

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The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, December 15th. Shareholders of record on Friday, December 1st will be given a $0.14 dividend. This is a boost from Associated Banc-Corp’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.12. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, November 30th. This represents a $0.56 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.23%. Associated Banc-Corp’s payout ratio is presently 32.88%.

In related news, insider Christopher C. Piotrowski sold 16,218 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, August 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $23.55, for a total transaction of $381,933.90. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 30,479 shares in the company, valued at $717,780.45. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, Director William R. Hutchinson sold 4,632 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, October 25th. The shares were sold at an average price of $25.70, for a total transaction of $119,042.40. Following the transaction, the director now owns 91,209 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,344,071.30. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 30,850 shares of company stock worth $753,476 in the last 90 days. Corporate insiders own 1.80% of the company’s stock.

A number of large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Wedge Capital Management L L P NC boosted its stake in Associated Banc-Corp by 0.5% during the second quarter. Wedge Capital Management L L P NC now owns 27,159 shares of the bank’s stock worth $684,000 after acquiring an additional 123 shares in the last quarter. Citigroup Inc. boosted its stake in Associated Banc-Corp by 1.0% during the second quarter. Citigroup Inc. now owns 16,135 shares of the bank’s stock worth $407,000 after acquiring an additional 155 shares in the last quarter. World Asset Management Inc boosted its stake in Associated Banc-Corp by 2.5% during the second quarter. World Asset Management Inc now owns 9,629 shares of the bank’s stock worth $243,000 after acquiring an additional 236 shares in the last quarter. Alpha Windward LLC lifted its stake in shares of Associated Banc-Corp by 1.6% in the second quarter. Alpha Windward LLC now owns 18,540 shares of the bank’s stock worth $467,000 after buying an additional 300 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Teacher Retirement System of Texas lifted its stake in shares of Associated Banc-Corp by 3.3% in the second quarter. Teacher Retirement System of Texas now owns 12,169 shares of the bank’s stock worth $307,000 after buying an additional 384 shares in the last quarter. 76.98% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Associated Banc-Corp Company Profile

Associated Banc-Corp is a bank holding company. The Company, through its banking subsidiary Associated Bank, National Association (the Bank) and various nonbanking subsidiaries, provides a range of banking and non-banking products and services to individuals. The Company operates through three segments: Corporate and Commercial Specialty; Community, Consumer, and Business, and Risk Management and Shared Services.

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Analyst Recommendations for Associated Banc-Corp (NYSE:ASB)

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