Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Sandy Spring Bancorp (NASDAQ:SASR) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research report sent to investors on Friday morning, Zacks.com reports.

According to Zacks, “SANDY SPRING is a bank holding company for Sandy Spring National Bank of Maryland. The bank is community oriented, and conducts a full-service commercial banking business through community offices located in Montgomery, Howard, Prince George’s and Anne Arundel counties in Maryland. “

Several other research analysts have also recently weighed in on SASR. BidaskClub cut Sandy Spring Bancorp from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note on Friday, August 9th. Boenning Scattergood assumed coverage on Sandy Spring Bancorp in a research note on Monday, June 24th. They set a buy rating and a $37.25 target price for the company. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and three have given a buy rating to the stock. The company has a consensus rating of Hold and an average price target of $37.85.

Shares of SASR stock opened at $33.98 on Friday. The stock has a 50-day simple moving average of $35.08 and a 200 day simple moving average of $33.86. Sandy Spring Bancorp has a fifty-two week low of $29.83 and a fifty-two week high of $40.56. The stock has a market capitalization of $1.17 billion, a P/E ratio of 11.88, a P/E/G ratio of 1.67 and a beta of 0.84. The company has a quick ratio of 1.03, a current ratio of 1.02 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.55.

Sandy Spring Bancorp (NASDAQ:SASR) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, July 18th. The bank reported $0.79 earnings per share for the quarter, meeting the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.79. Sandy Spring Bancorp had a return on equity of 10.14% and a net margin of 27.80%. The business had revenue of $82.74 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $82.39 million. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $0.68 earnings per share. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 5.1% on a year-over-year basis. On average, sell-side analysts anticipate that Sandy Spring Bancorp will post 3.24 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, August 21st. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, August 14th will be issued a dividend of $0.30 per share. This represents a $1.20 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.53%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, August 13th. Sandy Spring Bancorp’s dividend payout ratio is 41.96%.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in SASR. Maltese Capital Management LLC increased its holdings in shares of Sandy Spring Bancorp by 7.6% during the 2nd quarter. Maltese Capital Management LLC now owns 380,043 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $13,256,000 after acquiring an additional 26,896 shares during the last quarter. Royal Bank of Canada increased its holdings in shares of Sandy Spring Bancorp by 40.6% during the 2nd quarter. Royal Bank of Canada now owns 1,125 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $39,000 after acquiring an additional 325 shares during the last quarter. Susquehanna International Group LLP increased its holdings in shares of Sandy Spring Bancorp by 99.4% during the 2nd quarter. Susquehanna International Group LLP now owns 12,262 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $428,000 after acquiring an additional 6,114 shares during the last quarter. Nuveen Asset Management LLC acquired a new position in shares of Sandy Spring Bancorp during the 2nd quarter valued at about $14,713,000. Finally, Planning Solutions Group LLC acquired a new position in shares of Sandy Spring Bancorp during the 2nd quarter valued at about $725,000. 70.54% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Sandy Spring Bancorp

Sandy Spring Bancorp, Inc operates as the bank holding company for Sandy Spring Bank that provides commercial banking services to individuals and businesses in central Maryland, Northern Virginia, and Washington DC The company operates in three segments: Community Banking, Insurance, and Investment Management.

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