BankUnited (BKU) Stock Rating Lowered by Zacks Investment Research
Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of BankUnited (NYSE:BKU) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report issued on Tuesday morning.
According to Zacks, “Shares of BankUnited have outperformed the industry in the past six months. Also, the company has an impressive earnings surprise history, having surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate in each of the trailing four quarters. Further, the company’s fourth-quarter 2017 results reflect higher revenues and lower credit costs. Consistent growth in loans and deposits, and efforts to strengthen fee income sources are expected to drive revenues. The company is well positioned to grow through acquisitions, given its strong liquidity position. However, continued margin pressure (despite increase in interest rates) remains a major concern for the company. Also, persistently increasing expenses hurt its profitability to some extent. Further, a stretched valuation indicates limited upside potential for the stock.”
A number of other equities research analysts have also recently weighed in on BKU. Hovde Group cut BankUnited from an outperform rating to a market perform rating and cut their price target for the company from $45.00 to $44.00 in a report on Wednesday, February 7th. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reiterated a market perform rating and set a $41.00 price objective on shares of BankUnited in a research note on Wednesday, January 24th. ValuEngine upgraded shares of BankUnited from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note on Thursday, January 25th. Barclays raised their price objective on shares of BankUnited from $46.00 to $49.00 and gave the company an overweight rating in a research note on Wednesday, January 24th. Finally, Deutsche Bank lowered their price objective on shares of BankUnited from $42.00 to $40.00 and set a hold rating on the stock in a research note on Wednesday, November 8th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating and seven have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. BankUnited currently has an average rating of Hold and an average price target of $43.09.
BankUnited (NYSE:BKU) last released its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, January 23rd. The financial services provider reported $0.86 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.62 by $0.24. The company had revenue of $285.37 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $270.33 million. BankUnited had a return on equity of 11.30% and a net margin of 45.09%. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $0.59 earnings per share. sell-side analysts forecast that BankUnited will post 3.14 EPS for the current year.
BankUnited declared that its board has approved a share buyback plan on Tuesday, January 23rd that authorizes the company to buyback $150.00 million in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the financial services provider to buy shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback plans are typically a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its shares are undervalued.
The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, January 31st. Investors of record on Friday, January 12th were paid a dividend of $0.21 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, January 11th. This represents a $0.84 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.10%. BankUnited’s dividend payout ratio is presently 15.05%.
In other BankUnited news, insider Mark Bagnoli sold 1,000 shares of BankUnited stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, November 21st. The shares were sold at an average price of $35.88, for a total value of $35,880.00. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 19,699 shares in the company, valued at $706,800.12. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, Director Douglas J. Pauls sold 40,000 shares of BankUnited stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, January 25th. The stock was sold at an average price of $42.12, for a total transaction of $1,684,800.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 31,380 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,321,725.60. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 2.90% of the stock is owned by company insiders.
A number of institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of BKU. Amica Retiree Medical Trust acquired a new position in BankUnited in the fourth quarter worth approximately $138,000. Macquarie Group Ltd. acquired a new position in BankUnited in the third quarter worth approximately $174,000. Forward Management LLC acquired a new position in BankUnited in the third quarter worth approximately $192,000. QS Investors LLC grew its position in BankUnited by 9.6% in the second quarter. QS Investors LLC now owns 6,280 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $212,000 after buying an additional 550 shares during the last quarter. Finally, First Mercantile Trust Co. acquired a new position in BankUnited in the fourth quarter worth approximately $219,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 96.43% of the company’s stock.
BankUnited, Inc is the bank holding company of BankUnited (the Bank). The bank is a national banking association. As of December 31, 2016, the Bank provided a range of banking services to individual and corporate customers through 94 banking centers located in 15 Florida counties and six banking centers in the New York metropolitan area.
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