Webster Financial (NYSE:WBS) Lifted to “Buy” at Zacks Investment Research

Webster Financial (NYSE:WBS) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a note issued to investors on Wednesday, December 20th. The firm presently has a $64.00 price target on the financial services provider’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price target points to a potential upside of 7.42% from the company’s current price.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Webster Financial have outperformed the industry over the past six months. The performance was supported by the company’s impressive earnings surprise history. It hasn’t missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings in any of the trailing four quarters.  Webster Financial’s consistent growth in loans and deposits will aid profitability. Also, top-line strength and ample liquidity keep us encouraged. Notably, following the recent Fed interest rate hike, the company raised its prime lending rate to 4.50% from 4.25%, which will further support revenue growth. However, consistently rising cost base remains a major concern and significant exposure to commercial loans could pose a threat to its financials. Nevertheless, its efforts to strengthen HSA Bank segment bode well for the long term.”

A number of other equities research analysts also recently commented on the stock. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $63.00 target price on shares of Webster Financial in a research report on Friday, October 20th. Deutsche Bank boosted their price objective on shares of Webster Financial from $51.00 to $53.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, November 8th. Boenning Scattergood reissued a “hold” rating on shares of Webster Financial in a research report on Friday, October 20th. Wells Fargo & Co lifted their target price on shares of Webster Financial from $50.00 to $55.00 and gave the company a “market perform” rating in a research note on Friday, October 20th. Finally, ValuEngine cut shares of Webster Financial from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, November 14th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have issued a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $58.67.

Webster Financial (WBS) opened at $59.58 on Wednesday. The stock has a market cap of $5,560.00, a P/E ratio of 23.46, a PEG ratio of 2.43 and a beta of 1.22. The company has a current ratio of 0.81, a quick ratio of 0.81 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.69. Webster Financial has a 1-year low of $44.04 and a 1-year high of $59.76.

Webster Financial (NYSE:WBS) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, October 19th. The financial services provider reported $0.67 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.64 by $0.03. Webster Financial had a net margin of 21.09% and a return on equity of 9.89%. The company had revenue of $266.75 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $269.03 million. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $0.54 earnings per share. sell-side analysts predict that Webster Financial will post 2.6 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In other Webster Financial news, Director John Joseph Crawford sold 11,516 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, October 24th. The shares were sold at an average price of $54.83, for a total value of $631,422.28. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 16,953 shares in the company, valued at approximately $929,532.99. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, Director Karen R. Osar sold 12,923 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, October 31st. The stock was sold at an average price of $54.70, for a total transaction of $706,888.10. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 36,984 shares in the company, valued at $2,023,024.80. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders sold 36,107 shares of company stock worth $1,988,452. Insiders own 2.20% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the company. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. lifted its position in shares of Webster Financial by 4.0% in the 2nd quarter. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. now owns 5,048 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $263,000 after purchasing an additional 195 shares during the period. Bank of Montreal Can lifted its position in Webster Financial by 3.4% during the second quarter. Bank of Montreal Can now owns 6,047 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $315,000 after acquiring an additional 200 shares during the last quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank lifted its position in Webster Financial by 9.5% during the second quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank now owns 3,147 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $164,000 after acquiring an additional 274 shares during the last quarter. US Bancorp DE lifted its position in Webster Financial by 6.6% during the second quarter. US Bancorp DE now owns 4,852 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $253,000 after acquiring an additional 301 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Dorsey Wright & Associates raised its holdings in shares of Webster Financial by 1.3% in the second quarter. Dorsey Wright & Associates now owns 29,141 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $1,522,000 after buying an additional 367 shares during the last quarter. 86.77% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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Webster Financial Company Profile

Webster Financial Corporation is a bank and financial holding company. The Company’s segments include Commercial Banking, Community Banking, HSA Bank, Private Banking, and Corporate and Reconciling. The Commercial Banking segment includes middle-market, asset-based lending, commercial real estate, equipment finance, and treasury and payment solutions, which includes government and institutional banking.

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