Shares of Meridian Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:EBSB) have been given a consensus broker rating score of 2.00 (Buy) from the two analysts that cover the company, Zacks Investment Research reports. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a hold recommendation and one has issued a strong buy recommendation on the company.

Brokers have set a twelve-month consensus target price of $21.50 for the company and are predicting that the company will post $0.25 EPS for the current quarter, according to Zacks. Zacks has also assigned Meridian Bancorp an industry rank of 74 out of 265 based on the ratings given to its competitors.

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Several equities research analysts have commented on EBSB shares. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $24.50 price objective on shares of Meridian Bancorp in a research note on Friday, December 22nd. BidaskClub upgraded shares of Meridian Bancorp from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Saturday, December 30th.

In other news, Director James G. Sartori sold 15,146 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, January 26th. The shares were sold at an average price of $20.61, for a total transaction of $312,159.06. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, Director Gregory F. Natalucci sold 7,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, January 29th. The shares were sold at an average price of $20.70, for a total transaction of $144,900.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders sold 23,042 shares of company stock valued at $475,167. Company insiders own 5.10% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. BlackRock Inc. grew its position in shares of Meridian Bancorp by 6.5% during the 4th quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 3,109,062 shares of the savings and loans company’s stock valued at $64,048,000 after acquiring an additional 190,670 shares during the period. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP grew its position in shares of Meridian Bancorp by 6.9% during the 3rd quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 2,463,379 shares of the savings and loans company’s stock valued at $45,943,000 after acquiring an additional 159,475 shares during the period. Renaissance Technologies LLC grew its position in shares of Meridian Bancorp by 6.7% during the 4th quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 1,892,558 shares of the savings and loans company’s stock valued at $38,987,000 after acquiring an additional 119,300 shares during the period. State Street Corp grew its position in shares of Meridian Bancorp by 3.8% during the 2nd quarter. State Street Corp now owns 1,113,653 shares of the savings and loans company’s stock valued at $18,822,000 after acquiring an additional 40,376 shares during the period. Finally, Thrivent Financial For Lutherans grew its position in shares of Meridian Bancorp by 307.1% during the 4th quarter. Thrivent Financial For Lutherans now owns 741,969 shares of the savings and loans company’s stock valued at $15,285,000 after acquiring an additional 559,709 shares during the period. 67.29% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Shares of Meridian Bancorp stock opened at $20.35 on Monday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.79, a current ratio of 1.23 and a quick ratio of 1.23. Meridian Bancorp has a fifty-two week low of $15.85 and a fifty-two week high of $21.85. The firm has a market cap of $1,105.53, a PE ratio of 24.82 and a beta of 0.25.

Meridian Bancorp (NASDAQ:EBSB) last posted its earnings results on Tuesday, January 23rd. The savings and loans company reported $0.30 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.24 by $0.06. The company had revenue of $48.04 million for the quarter. Meridian Bancorp had a net margin of 20.63% and a return on equity of 7.90%. analysts expect that Meridian Bancorp will post 1.12 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, April 3rd. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, March 20th will be paid a $0.05 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Monday, March 19th. This represents a $0.20 annualized dividend and a yield of 0.98%. Meridian Bancorp’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 24.39%.

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About Meridian Bancorp

Meridian Bancorp Inc, formerly Meridian Interstate Bancorp, Inc, is a mid-tier stock holding company of East Boston Savings Bank (the Bank). The Bank is a state-chartered stock savings bank that operates from 24 full-service locations and two loan centers in the Boston metropolitan area. East Boston Savings Bank operates eight of its full-service locations and a loan center under the name Mt.

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