Howard Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:HBMD) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “strong-buy” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Monday.

According to Zacks, “Howard Bancorp, Inc., headquartered in Ellicott City, Maryland, operates as a holding company for Howard Bank that provides a range of commercial and retail banking services in Maryland. It offers various deposits products, such as community business, business relationship, business solutions, super, howard relationship, and howard maximum checking accounts; individual retirement accounts; business, junior, and personal savings accounts; anniversary, incentive, and business money market accounts; and certificates of deposits. The company’s loan portfolio comprises commercial construction, commercial real estate, home equity, and consumer installment loans; and commercial and unsecured lines of credit. Howard Bancorp also provides business and personal online banking and Web BillPay services, ATM cards, business credit cards, and cash management, lockbox processing, and wire transfers services. “

HBMD has been the topic of a number of other reports. TheStreet cut Howard Bancorp from a “b” rating to a “c+” rating in a research note on Monday, August 21st. Stephens raised Howard Bancorp from an “equal weight” rating to an “overweight” rating and set a $21.00 target price on the stock in a research note on Friday, August 18th. UBS AG raised Howard Bancorp from an “outperform” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a research note on Monday, August 21st. Finally, Raymond James Financial, Inc. reissued an “outperform” rating and issued a $23.00 target price (up from $22.00) on shares of Howard Bancorp in a research note on Friday. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have given a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. Howard Bancorp currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $21.33.

Shares of Howard Bancorp (HBMD) traded down 1.63% during trading on Monday, reaching $21.15. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 37,675 shares. Howard Bancorp has a one year low of $13.35 and a one year high of $22.30. The firm has a market cap of $207.42 million, a P/E ratio of 27.43 and a beta of -0.01. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $20.95 and its 200 day moving average is $19.49.

Howard Bancorp (NASDAQ:HBMD) last released its earnings results on Thursday, October 19th. The financial services provider reported $0.17 EPS for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.23 by ($0.06). Howard Bancorp had a return on equity of 5.53% and a net margin of 10.57%. The company had revenue of $14.86 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $15.20 million. On average, equities analysts forecast that Howard Bancorp will post $0.82 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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In other news, EVP Steven Poynot sold 1,334 shares of the stock in a transaction on Tuesday, September 19th. The stock was sold at an average price of $20.46, for a total value of $27,293.64. Following the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 167 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $3,416.82. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Corporate insiders own 10.59% of the company’s stock.

Large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Biegel & Waller LLC lifted its holdings in shares of Howard Bancorp by 1.7% during the second quarter. Biegel & Waller LLC now owns 100,784 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $1,940,000 after purchasing an additional 1,672 shares in the last quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp bought a new position in shares of Howard Bancorp during the second quarter valued at $473,000. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. bought a new position in shares of Howard Bancorp during the second quarter valued at $293,000. California State Teachers Retirement System bought a new position in shares of Howard Bancorp during the second quarter valued at $300,000. Finally, The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company lifted its holdings in shares of Howard Bancorp by 4.3% during the second quarter. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company now owns 394,407 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $7,592,000 after purchasing an additional 16,266 shares in the last quarter. 65.03% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About Howard Bancorp

Howard Bancorp, Inc is the bank holding company of Howard Bank. The Company’s primary business is to own all of the capital stock of Howard Bank. The Company operates through Community Banking segment. Howard Bank is a trust company, which has approximately four operating subsidiaries. The Company offers a range of services to its customers, including wire transfer services, automated teller machine (ATM) and check cards, ATMs at all of its service branch locations, safe deposit boxes at all service locations and credit cards through a third-party processor.

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