BankUnited (BKU) Downgraded by Zacks Investment Research to “Hold”

Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of BankUnited (NYSE:BKU) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report published on Thursday.

According to Zacks, “Shares of BankUnited have outperformed the industry in the past six months. Also, the company has an impressive earnings surprise history, having surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate in each of the trailing four quarters. Consistent growth in loans and deposits, and efforts to strengthen fee income sources are expected to drive revenues. The company is well positioned to grow through acquisitions as well, given its strong liquidity position. However, continued margin pressure (despite increase in interest rates) remains a major concern. Also, increasing expenses are expected to hurt the company's bottom-line growth to some extent.”

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BKU has been the topic of a number of other reports. ValuEngine downgraded shares of BankUnited from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report on Monday, April 2nd. Hovde Group downgraded shares of BankUnited from an outperform rating to a market perform rating and reduced their price objective for the company from $45.00 to $44.00 in a research report on Wednesday, February 7th. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reissued a market perform rating and set a $41.00 price objective on shares of BankUnited in a research report on Wednesday, January 24th. UBS initiated coverage on shares of BankUnited in a research report on Wednesday, March 21st. They set a neutral rating and a $45.00 price objective on the stock. Finally, Barclays boosted their price objective on shares of BankUnited from $46.00 to $49.00 and gave the company an overweight rating in a research report on Wednesday, January 24th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have assigned a hold rating and six have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $42.92.

NYSE:BKU opened at $38.97 on Thursday. BankUnited has a 52 week low of $30.37 and a 52 week high of $43.84. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.58, a current ratio of 0.96 and a quick ratio of 0.96. The firm has a market cap of $4,131.48, a P/E ratio of 14.71, a PEG ratio of 1.38 and a beta of 1.04.

BankUnited (NYSE:BKU) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, January 23rd. The financial services provider reported $0.86 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.62 by $0.24. BankUnited had a net margin of 45.09% and a return on equity of 10.83%. The company had revenue of $285.37 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $270.33 million. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $0.59 EPS. equities research analysts expect that BankUnited will post 3.18 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, April 30th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, April 12th will be given a $0.21 dividend. This represents a $0.84 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.16%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, April 11th. BankUnited’s dividend payout ratio is presently 31.70%.

BankUnited announced that its board has authorized a share buyback program on Tuesday, January 23rd that allows the company to repurchase $150.00 million in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization allows the financial services provider to repurchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares repurchase programs are generally a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its shares are undervalued.

In other news, Director Eugene F. Demark sold 2,682 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, March 13th. The shares were sold at an average price of $42.92, for a total value of $115,111.44. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 16,000 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $686,720. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, Director Douglas J. Pauls sold 40,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, January 25th. The stock was sold at an average price of $42.12, for a total transaction of $1,684,800.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 31,380 shares in the company, valued at $1,321,725.60. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 45,487 shares of company stock worth $1,920,218 over the last ninety days. Insiders own 5.10% of the company’s stock.

Several large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Xact Kapitalforvaltning AB purchased a new stake in shares of BankUnited in the 4th quarter worth about $413,000. Envestnet Asset Management Inc. grew its position in shares of BankUnited by 13.6% in the 4th quarter. Envestnet Asset Management Inc. now owns 30,958 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $1,261,000 after buying an additional 3,699 shares during the period. Sterling Capital Management LLC purchased a new stake in shares of BankUnited in the 4th quarter worth about $3,444,000. Raymond James & Associates grew its position in shares of BankUnited by 14.9% in the 4th quarter. Raymond James & Associates now owns 119,664 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $4,873,000 after buying an additional 15,530 shares during the period. Finally, Empire Life Investments Inc. purchased a new stake in shares of BankUnited in the 4th quarter worth about $4,014,000. 96.99% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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About BankUnited

BankUnited, Inc is the bank holding company of BankUnited (the Bank). The bank is a national banking association. As of December 31, 2016, the Bank provided a range of banking services to individual and corporate customers through 94 banking centers located in 15 Florida counties and six banking centers in the New York metropolitan area.

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