United Community Banks, Inc. (NASDAQ:UCBI) Sees Significant Drop in Short Interest

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United Community Banks, Inc. (NASDAQ:UCBI) saw a large decrease in short interest in September. As of September 30th, there was short interest totalling 1,940,000 shares, a decrease of 11.8% from the August 30th total of 2,200,000 shares. Based on an average daily trading volume, of 367,000 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is currently 5.3 days. Currently, 2.5% of the company’s shares are sold short.

Shares of NASDAQ UCBI traded up $0.33 during mid-day trading on Tuesday, reaching $28.27. 8,389 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 419,759. The firm has a market capitalization of $2.21 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 13.21 and a beta of 1.28. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.26, a quick ratio of 0.84 and a current ratio of 0.85. United Community Banks has a 52-week low of $20.23 and a 52-week high of $29.79. The company’s 50-day moving average is $27.35 and its 200-day moving average is $27.35.

United Community Banks (NASDAQ:UCBI) last released its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, July 23rd. The financial services provider reported $0.59 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.58 by $0.01. The business had revenue of $142.32 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $142.30 million. United Community Banks had a return on equity of 12.24% and a net margin of 27.88%. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $0.53 EPS. As a group, equities analysts predict that United Community Banks will post 2.3 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Saturday, October 5th. Stockholders of record on Sunday, September 15th were issued a dividend of $0.17 per share. This represents a $0.68 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.41%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, September 12th. United Community Banks’s dividend payout ratio is presently 31.78%.

In other United Community Banks news, CAO Alan H. Kumler sold 3,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Monday, September 9th. The stock was sold at an average price of $27.06, for a total value of $81,180.00. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Over the last 90 days, insiders sold 7,684 shares of company stock valued at $214,150. 1.18% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Nachman Norwood & Parrott Inc grew its holdings in shares of United Community Banks by 0.5% during the 3rd quarter. Nachman Norwood & Parrott Inc now owns 155,385 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $4,405,000 after purchasing an additional 849 shares during the period. State of Alaska Department of Revenue lifted its stake in United Community Banks by 125.8% during the 3rd quarter. State of Alaska Department of Revenue now owns 60,749 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $1,722,000 after acquiring an additional 33,843 shares in the last quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. acquired a new position in United Community Banks during the 2nd quarter worth about $31,396,000. Atria Investments LLC acquired a new stake in United Community Banks in the 2nd quarter valued at about $4,175,000. Finally, Barrow Hanley Mewhinney & Strauss LLC raised its position in United Community Banks by 6.6% in the 2nd quarter. Barrow Hanley Mewhinney & Strauss LLC now owns 34,017 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $971,000 after purchasing an additional 2,097 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 92.32% of the company’s stock.

Several brokerages have issued reports on UCBI. Zacks Investment Research upgraded United Community Banks from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, September 27th. BidaskClub cut United Community Banks from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, July 9th. SunTrust Banks dropped their target price on United Community Banks from $30.00 to $29.00 and set a “hold” rating for the company in a report on Tuesday, August 27th. DA Davidson began coverage on United Community Banks in a report on Tuesday, August 20th. They issued a “neutral” rating for the company. Finally, ValuEngine cut United Community Banks from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Tuesday. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating and seven have issued a hold rating to the company’s stock. United Community Banks has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $29.40.

United Community Banks Company Profile

United Community Banks, Inc operates as the bank holding company for United Community Bank that provides retail and corporate banking services to individuals and businesses. It offers various deposit accounts, such as checking accounts, savings and time deposits accounts, NOW accounts, money market deposits, and certificates of deposit.

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