Maxim Group Reaffirms “Hold” Rating for Westamerica Bancorporation (WABC)

Westamerica Bancorporation (NASDAQ:WABC)‘s stock had its “hold” rating reiterated by analysts at Maxim Group in a research note issued on Friday.

The analysts wrote, “WABC reported 4Q17 EPS of $0.16, which included four non-recurring items (a DTA writedown, a low-income housing LP writedown, a loss contingency, and securities gains) which reduced EPS by a net $0.42. WABC’s core performance metrics were, as usual, very strong. WABC’s deposit franchise remained its greatest strength. However, lack of loan growth remains WABC’s greatest challenge, in our view, in spite of period-end loans growing slightly from 3Q17. We are raising our 2018 EPS estimate (which includes stabilization of loan balances) to $2.65, from $2.30, mainly based on a lower tax rate.””

WABC has been the topic of several other reports. BidaskClub cut shares of Westamerica Bancorporation from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, December 12th. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reissued a “hold” rating and set a $58.00 price target on shares of Westamerica Bancorporation in a research note on Friday, December 22nd. Finally, Sandler O’Neill reissued a “sell” rating and set a $54.00 price target on shares of Westamerica Bancorporation in a research note on Thursday, January 4th.

Shares of Westamerica Bancorporation (NASDAQ WABC) opened at $62.52 on Friday. The firm has a market cap of $1,593.12, a PE ratio of 32.91 and a beta of 1.07. Westamerica Bancorporation has a 52 week low of $49.38 and a 52 week high of $64.26.

Westamerica Bancorporation (NASDAQ:WABC) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, October 19th. The financial services provider reported $0.57 earnings per share for the quarter, hitting the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.57. The firm had revenue of $45.22 million for the quarter. Westamerica Bancorporation had a net margin of 26.26% and a return on equity of 10.28%.

In other news, CFO John A. Thorson sold 12,468 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, October 26th. The shares were sold at an average price of $58.80, for a total transaction of $733,118.40. Following the sale, the chief financial officer now directly owns 12,468 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $733,118.40. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, VP James J. Schneck sold 6,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, October 26th. The shares were sold at an average price of $58.86, for a total transaction of $353,160.00. Following the sale, the vice president now directly owns 6,025 shares in the company, valued at $354,631.50. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 56,868 shares of company stock worth $3,340,734 over the last three months. 4.90% of the stock is owned by insiders.

A number of hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in WABC. Amalgamated Bank bought a new position in Westamerica Bancorporation in the third quarter valued at approximately $204,000. Wealthsource Partners LLC bought a new position in Westamerica Bancorporation in the second quarter valued at approximately $208,000. Janney Montgomery Scott LLC bought a new position in Westamerica Bancorporation in the third quarter valued at approximately $229,000. Crossmark Global Holdings Inc. bought a new position in Westamerica Bancorporation in the third quarter valued at approximately $305,000. Finally, Piedmont Investment Advisors LLC bought a new position in Westamerica Bancorporation in the second quarter valued at approximately $319,000. 85.95% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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About Westamerica Bancorporation

Westamerica Bancorporation is a bank holding company. The Company provides a range of banking services to individual and corporate customers in Northern and Central California through its subsidiary bank, Westamerica Bank. The communities served are located in Northern and Central California, from Mendocino, Lake and Nevada Counties in the north to Kern County in the south.

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