Zacks Investment Research Lowers Meridian Bancorp (EBSB) to Hold

Meridian Bancorp (NASDAQ:EBSB) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report issued on Wednesday.

According to Zacks, “Meridian Bancorp Inc. is a bank holding company for East Boston Savings Bank. The Bank provides financial services to individuals and businesses. It accepts various deposit products, including non-interest-bearing demand deposits; interest-bearing demand accounts; savings accounts; and certificates of deposits, as well as commercial checking accounts. The company also offers loan products consisting of commercial real estate loans, one-to four-family residential loans, multi-family real estate loans, construction loans, commercial business loans, home equity lines of credit, automobile loans, loans secured by passbook or certificate accounts, and overdraft loans. Meridian Bancorp Inc., formerly known as Meridian Interstate Bancorp, Inc., is based in Peabody, Massachusetts. “

Separately, BidaskClub upgraded Meridian Bancorp from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Tuesday, October 30th.

EBSB stock traded down $0.29 on Wednesday, reaching $15.46. 388,100 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 165,440. Meridian Bancorp has a one year low of $13.67 and a one year high of $21.80. The company has a quick ratio of 1.24, a current ratio of 1.24 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.90. The firm has a market cap of $848.65 million, a PE ratio of 16.27 and a beta of 0.39.

Meridian Bancorp (NASDAQ:EBSB) last posted its earnings results on Tuesday, January 22nd. The savings and loans company reported $0.24 EPS for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.29 by ($0.05). The business had revenue of $42.31 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $45.20 million. Meridian Bancorp had a return on equity of 8.99% and a net margin of 22.37%. On average, research analysts expect that Meridian Bancorp will post 1.12 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In related news, Director James G. Sartori sold 2,400 shares of Meridian Bancorp stock in a transaction on Friday, November 30th. The stock was sold at an average price of $16.25, for a total transaction of $39,000.00. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Insiders have sold 3,700 shares of company stock worth $59,551 over the last quarter. 5.30% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Several institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in EBSB. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. increased its holdings in shares of Meridian Bancorp by 5.4% in the second quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 281,955 shares of the savings and loans company’s stock worth $5,400,000 after purchasing an additional 14,431 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. increased its holdings in shares of Meridian Bancorp by 8.8% in the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 3,677,833 shares of the savings and loans company’s stock worth $70,430,000 after purchasing an additional 298,381 shares during the last quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP increased its holdings in shares of Meridian Bancorp by 5.7% in the second quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 2,676,878 shares of the savings and loans company’s stock worth $51,263,000 after purchasing an additional 145,466 shares during the last quarter. Millennium Management LLC increased its holdings in shares of Meridian Bancorp by 26.0% in the second quarter. Millennium Management LLC now owns 301,420 shares of the savings and loans company’s stock worth $5,772,000 after purchasing an additional 62,146 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Northern Trust Corp increased its holdings in shares of Meridian Bancorp by 8.1% in the second quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 657,597 shares of the savings and loans company’s stock worth $12,593,000 after purchasing an additional 49,430 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 66.04% of the company’s stock.

About Meridian Bancorp

Meridian Bancorp, Inc operates as the holding company for East Boston Savings Bank that provides various financial products and services for individuals and businesses primarily in Essex, Middlesex, Norfolk, and Suffolk Counties, Massachusetts. The company accepts various deposit products, including non-interest-bearing demand deposits, such as checking accounts; interest-bearing demand accounts comprising NOW and money market accounts; savings accounts; and certificates of deposits, as well as commercial checking accounts.

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