A number of research firms have changed their ratings and price targets for East West Bancorp (NASDAQ: EWBC):

  • 3/12/2019 – East West Bancorp was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating. They now have a $58.00 price target on the stock. According to Zacks, “East West Bancorp's shares have outperformed the industry over the past three months. Yet, the company has an impressive earnings surprise history, surpassing the Zacks Consensus Estimate in each of the trailing four quarters. Increase in loans and deposits along with rising interest rates are expected to support revenues. While rise in operating expenses and credit costs are expected to hamper bottom line growth to some extent, the company’s steady capital deployment plan reflects strong balance sheet position. Also, the company's efforts to improve fee-based income will likely aid growth.”
  • 3/8/2019 – East West Bancorp had its price target raised by analysts at Wedbush from $59.00 to $62.00. They now have an “outperform” rating on the stock.
  • 3/7/2019 – East West Bancorp was downgraded by analysts at BidaskClub from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating.
  • 2/22/2019 – East West Bancorp was upgraded by analysts at BidaskClub from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating.
  • 2/7/2019 – East West Bancorp was upgraded by analysts at TheStreet from a “c+” rating to a “b” rating.
  • 1/25/2019 – East West Bancorp was upgraded by analysts at BidaskClub from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating.
  • 1/14/2019 – East West Bancorp was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating. According to Zacks, “East West Bancorp's shares have underperformed the industry over the past year. Yet, the company has an impressive earnings surprise history, surpassing the Zacks Consensus Estimate in three out of the trailing four quarters. The bank has been witnessing a steady rise in operating expenses, which is expected to hurt profitability. Also, rise in provisions for loan losses due to worsening asset quality is expected to hamper profitability to some extent. However, earnings estimates have been going upward ahead of the company’s fourth quarter results. Although the increase in loans and deposits along with rising interest rates are expected to support revenues, the company’s high exposures to commercial real estate loans remains  a concern.”

East West Bancorp stock traded up $0.03 during mid-day trading on Thursday, reaching $52.74. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 615,226 shares, compared to its average volume of 874,309. The company has a market cap of $7.53 billion, a P/E ratio of 11.32, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 0.97 and a beta of 1.56. East West Bancorp, Inc. has a 12 month low of $40.05 and a 12 month high of $73.98. The company has a current ratio of 1.01, a quick ratio of 1.01 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.11.

East West Bancorp (NASDAQ:EWBC) last released its earnings results on Thursday, January 24th. The financial services provider reported $1.18 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.16 by $0.02. The business had revenue of $411.11 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $408.61 million. East West Bancorp had a net margin of 37.78% and a return on equity of 16.26%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 12.7% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $0.87 earnings per share. On average, equities research analysts forecast that East West Bancorp, Inc. will post 5.1 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, February 15th. Investors of record on Monday, February 4th were given a $0.23 dividend. This represents a $0.92 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.74%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, February 1st. East West Bancorp’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 19.74%.

In other East West Bancorp news, Director Rudolph Estrada sold 1,902 shares of the stock in a transaction on Monday, January 28th. The shares were sold at an average price of $52.64, for a total value of $100,121.28. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 15,089 shares in the company, valued at $794,284.96. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, Director Jack C. Liu sold 2,108 shares of the stock in a transaction on Monday, March 4th. The shares were sold at an average price of $55.20, for a total transaction of $116,361.60. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 18,857 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,040,906.40. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.68% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

A number of hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in EWBC. Bank of Montreal Can lifted its stake in East West Bancorp by 24.5% in the third quarter. Bank of Montreal Can now owns 12,366 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $748,000 after acquiring an additional 2,434 shares during the last quarter. Los Angeles Capital Management & Equity Research Inc. lifted its stake in East West Bancorp by 3.1% in the third quarter. Los Angeles Capital Management & Equity Research Inc. now owns 80,197 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $4,841,000 after acquiring an additional 2,400 shares during the last quarter. Dupont Capital Management Corp lifted its stake in East West Bancorp by 40.0% in the third quarter. Dupont Capital Management Corp now owns 21,032 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $1,270,000 after acquiring an additional 6,010 shares during the last quarter. Stone Ridge Asset Management LLC lifted its stake in East West Bancorp by 13.4% in the third quarter. Stone Ridge Asset Management LLC now owns 21,741 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $1,313,000 after acquiring an additional 2,577 shares during the last quarter. Finally, SG Americas Securities LLC lifted its stake in East West Bancorp by 332.3% in the third quarter. SG Americas Securities LLC now owns 213,138 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $12,867,000 after acquiring an additional 163,833 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 88.04% of the company’s stock.

East West Bancorp, Inc operates as the bank holding company for East West Bank that provides a range of personal and commercial banking services to small and medium-sized businesses, business executives, professionals, and other individuals in the United States and Greater China. It operates through three segments: Retail Banking, Commercial Banking, and Other.

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