Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Zions Bancorporation (NASDAQ:ZION) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report released on Thursday morning.

According to Zacks, “Zions’ shares have outperformed the industry over the past year. The performance was supported by the company’s impressive earnings surprise history. It surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings in all trailing four quarters. The company has been witnessing consistent growth in loans and deposits along with easing margin pressure, indicating possibility of further improvement in revenues. Also, Zions’ initiatives to control expenses have been successful and are expected to aid bottom-line growth. However, the company’s higher exposure toward risky loan portfolios is expected to hamper its financials. Also, concentration risk remains a matter of concern for the company, going forward.”

A number of other research analysts have also recently issued reports on the stock. Morgan Stanley restated an equal weight rating and set a $49.00 price objective (up previously from $48.00) on shares of Zions Bancorporation in a report on Wednesday. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods restated a hold rating and set a $48.00 price objective on shares of Zions Bancorporation in a report on Tuesday. Robert W. Baird cut shares of Zions Bancorporation from a neutral rating to an underperform rating and set a $43.00 price objective for the company. in a report on Monday. Jefferies Group LLC restated a buy rating and set a $49.00 price objective on shares of Zions Bancorporation in a report on Friday, September 15th. Finally, Sanford C. Bernstein restated a market perform rating and set a $51.00 price objective on shares of Zions Bancorporation in a report on Saturday, September 16th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, thirteen have given a hold rating and eleven have given a buy rating to the stock. Zions Bancorporation has a consensus rating of Hold and an average target price of $46.71.

Zions Bancorporation (NASDAQ ZION) traded up 0.46% during trading on Thursday, reaching $47.88. 2,316,072 shares of the company were exchanged. The firm has a market cap of $9.68 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 19.06 and a beta of 1.44. The firm has a 50-day moving average of $44.46 and a 200-day moving average of $42.86. Zions Bancorporation has a 52-week low of $30.07 and a 52-week high of $48.33.

Zions Bancorporation (NASDAQ:ZION) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, July 25th. The bank reported $0.73 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.62 by $0.11. The firm had revenue of $660.00 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $640.34 million. Zions Bancorporation had a net margin of 21.97% and a return on equity of 8.14%. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company earned $0.44 earnings per share. On average, equities analysts forecast that Zions Bancorporation will post $2.82 EPS for the current year.

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Zions Bancorporation declared that its Board of Directors has authorized a stock buyback plan on Wednesday, June 28th that authorizes the company to repurchase $465.00 million in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the bank to purchase up to 5.3% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are usually a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its shares are undervalued.

In related news, Director Roger B. Porter acquired 1,616 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, August 22nd. The shares were bought at an average cost of $43.99 per share, with a total value of $71,087.84. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 42,001 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,847,623.99. The acquisition was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, General Counsel Thomas E. Laursen sold 1,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Friday, August 4th. The shares were sold at an average price of $46.38, for a total transaction of $46,380.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the general counsel now directly owns 23,484 shares in the company, valued at $1,089,187.92. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 27,118 shares of company stock worth $1,222,407 over the last three months. Insiders own 1.46% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in ZION. Advisors Asset Management Inc. acquired a new position in shares of Zions Bancorporation in the second quarter valued at about $108,000. Global X Management Co. LLC grew its stake in shares of Zions Bancorporation by 340.4% in the first quarter. Global X Management Co. LLC now owns 3,021 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $127,000 after acquiring an additional 2,335 shares in the last quarter. Exane Derivatives acquired a new position in shares of Zions Bancorporation in the second quarter valued at about $132,000. Americafirst Capital Management LLC acquired a new position in shares of Zions Bancorporation in the second quarter valued at about $175,000. Finally, FNY Partners Fund LP acquired a new position in shares of Zions Bancorporation in the first quarter valued at about $188,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 92.35% of the company’s stock.

About Zions Bancorporation

Zions Bancorporation is a financial holding company. The Company conducts its banking operations through separately managed and branded segments, including Zions Bank, Amegy Bank, California Bank & Trust, National Bank of Arizona, Nevada State Bank (NSB), Vectra Bank Colorado, The Commerce Bank of Washington (TCBW) and Other.

Analyst Recommendations for Zions Bancorporation (NASDAQ:ZION)

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