Westamerica Bancorporation (NASDAQ:WABC) was downgraded by investment analysts at BidaskClub from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research report issued on Thursday.

Several other research analysts have also issued reports on the stock. Maxim Group reissued a “hold” rating on shares of Westamerica Bancorporation in a research report on Friday, April 21st. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods raised shares of Westamerica Bancorporation from an “underperform” rating to a “market perform” rating and increased their price target for the stock from $54.00 to $56.00 in a research report on Friday, April 21st. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have assigned a hold rating and one has issued a buy rating to the stock. Westamerica Bancorporation has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $56.00.

Shares of Westamerica Bancorporation (NASDAQ WABC) traded down 0.86% during mid-day trading on Thursday, reaching $51.93. The company had a trading volume of 2,988 shares. Westamerica Bancorporation has a 52-week low of $46.92 and a 52-week high of $65.34. The company has a market capitalization of $1.37 billion, a PE ratio of 22.29 and a beta of 1.06. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $54.96 and its 200-day moving average price is $55.32.

Westamerica Bancorporation (NASDAQ:WABC) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 20th. The financial services provider reported $0.60 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.56 by $0.04. The business had revenue of $47.90 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $46.70 million. Westamerica Bancorporation had a net margin of 33.83% and a return on equity of 10.57%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was down .6% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $0.57 earnings per share. On average, analysts forecast that Westamerica Bancorporation will post $2.32 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Westamerica Bancorporation declared that its board has initiated a stock buyback program on Thursday, July 27th that allows the company to repurchase 1,750,000 shares. This repurchase authorization allows the financial services provider to buy shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares repurchase programs are typically a sign that the company’s leadership believes its stock is undervalued.

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In related news, Director Edward B. Sylvester sold 1,260 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Monday, July 31st. The shares were sold at an average price of $54.40, for a total value of $68,544.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 72,490 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $3,943,456. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Corporate insiders own 4.90% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. BlackRock Inc. raised its position in Westamerica Bancorporation by 48,285.6% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 3,192,483 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $178,235,000 after buying an additional 3,185,885 shares during the period. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its position in Westamerica Bancorporation by 16.1% in the first quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 2,551,330 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $142,440,000 after buying an additional 354,294 shares during the period. Deprince Race & Zollo Inc. raised its position in Westamerica Bancorporation by 218.4% in the second quarter. Deprince Race & Zollo Inc. now owns 461,063 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $25,838,000 after buying an additional 316,245 shares during the period. Norges Bank acquired a new position in Westamerica Bancorporation during the fourth quarter valued at about $9,732,000. Finally, Russell Investments Group Ltd. raised its position in Westamerica Bancorporation by 218.7% in the second quarter. Russell Investments Group Ltd. now owns 207,817 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $11,645,000 after buying an additional 142,605 shares during the period. 86.98% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About Westamerica Bancorporation

Westamerica Bancorporation is a bank holding company. The Company provides a range of banking services to individual and corporate customers in Northern and Central California through its subsidiary bank, Westamerica Bank. The communities served are located in Northern and Central California, from Mendocino, Lake and Nevada Counties in the north to Kern County in the south.

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