Berkshire Hills Bancorp (BHLB) Lowered to “Hold” at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Berkshire Hills Bancorp (NYSE:BHLB) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report published on Monday morning.

According to Zacks, “Berkshire Hills Bancorp, Inc. is a bank holding company. Through its subsidiaries, the company is engaged as a community bank that accepts retail deposits from the general public in the areas surrounding its full-service banking offices and uses those funds,together with funds generated from operations and borrowings, to originate residential mortgage loans, commercial business and real estate loans and consumer loans, primarily indirect automobile loans. “

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Separately, Piper Jaffray Companies reiterated a buy rating and issued a $42.50 price objective on shares of Berkshire Hills Bancorp in a report on Tuesday, January 9th. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and three have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. Berkshire Hills Bancorp presently has an average rating of Buy and an average price target of $41.30.

Shares of Berkshire Hills Bancorp (NYSE:BHLB) opened at $39.70 on Monday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.32, a current ratio of 0.92 and a quick ratio of 0.90. The stock has a market capitalization of $1,787.56, a P/E ratio of 17.13 and a beta of 0.70. Berkshire Hills Bancorp has a 52-week low of $32.85 and a 52-week high of $40.00.

Berkshire Hills Bancorp (NYSE:BHLB) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, January 25th. The savings and loans company reported $0.58 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.57 by $0.01. Berkshire Hills Bancorp had a return on equity of 7.09% and a net margin of 11.37%. The business had revenue of $115.66 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $115.50 million. sell-side analysts predict that Berkshire Hills Bancorp will post 2.72 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, March 1st. Investors of record on Thursday, February 15th were issued a $0.22 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, February 14th. This is a boost from Berkshire Hills Bancorp’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.21. This represents a $0.88 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.22%. Berkshire Hills Bancorp’s dividend payout ratio is currently 59.46%.

In other Berkshire Hills Bancorp news, Director Patrick J. Sheehan acquired 1,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, February 8th. The shares were purchased at an average cost of $37.00 per share, for a total transaction of $37,000.00. Following the completion of the acquisition, the director now owns 1,168 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $43,216. The purchase was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, Director Patrick J. Sheehan acquired 8,938 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, February 5th. The stock was acquired at an average price of $37.11 per share, for a total transaction of $331,689.18. Following the completion of the acquisition, the director now directly owns 1,168 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $43,344.48. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Insiders purchased 11,438 shares of company stock worth $425,014 over the last quarter. 2.82% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in BHLB. Westwood Holdings Group Inc. lifted its holdings in Berkshire Hills Bancorp by 109.2% in the fourth quarter. Westwood Holdings Group Inc. now owns 692,521 shares of the savings and loans company’s stock valued at $25,346,000 after acquiring an additional 361,525 shares during the last quarter. Hillcrest Asset Management LLC acquired a new position in Berkshire Hills Bancorp during the third quarter worth $8,344,000. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP lifted its stake in Berkshire Hills Bancorp by 6.4% during the third quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 3,215,961 shares of the savings and loans company’s stock worth $124,617,000 after purchasing an additional 192,322 shares in the last quarter. Deutsche Bank AG lifted its stake in Berkshire Hills Bancorp by 112.9% during the fourth quarter. Deutsche Bank AG now owns 312,243 shares of the savings and loans company’s stock worth $11,426,000 after purchasing an additional 165,567 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Allianz Asset Management GmbH lifted its stake in Berkshire Hills Bancorp by 17.6% during the third quarter. Allianz Asset Management GmbH now owns 1,061,154 shares of the savings and loans company’s stock worth $41,119,000 after purchasing an additional 158,961 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 68.88% of the company’s stock.

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Berkshire Hills Bancorp Company Profile

Berkshire Hills Bancorp, Inc (Berkshire) is a holding company for Berkshire Bank (the Bank) and Berkshire Insurance Group. Berkshire offers a range of deposit, lending, insurance and wealth management products to retail, commercial, not-for-profit and municipal customers in its market areas. Berkshire product offerings also include retail and commercial electronic banking, commercial cash management and commercial interest rate swaps.

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