East West Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:EWBC) Short Interest Down 20.7% in April


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East West Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:EWBC) was the recipient of a large drop in short interest in April. As of April 15th, there was short interest totalling 1,150,000 shares, a drop of 20.7% from the March 31st total of 1,450,000 shares. Based on an average daily trading volume, of 881,300 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is presently 1.3 days. Approximately 0.8% of the shares of the stock are sold short.

In other East West Bancorp news, Director Jack C. Liu sold 1,036 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, March 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $77.00, for a total value of $79,772.00. Also, Director Rudolph Estrada sold 1,364 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, February 11th. The stock was sold at an average price of $66.06, for a total transaction of $90,105.84. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 17,371 shares in the company, valued at $1,147,528.26. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 0.72% of the company’s stock.

Several large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the business. Envestnet Asset Management Inc. grew its stake in shares of East West Bancorp by 17.0% in the first quarter. Envestnet Asset Management Inc. now owns 217,939 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $16,084,000 after acquiring an additional 31,655 shares in the last quarter. Commonwealth Equity Services LLC acquired a new position in shares of East West Bancorp in the first quarter worth $3,590,000. Measured Wealth Private Client Group LLC acquired a new position in shares of East West Bancorp in the first quarter worth $445,000. Victory Capital Management Inc. grew its stake in shares of East West Bancorp by 14.7% in the first quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 301,418 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $22,245,000 after acquiring an additional 38,601 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Symmetry Partners LLC grew its stake in shares of East West Bancorp by 4.0% in the first quarter. Symmetry Partners LLC now owns 24,432 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $1,803,000 after acquiring an additional 944 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 88.80% of the company’s stock.

A number of research firms have weighed in on EWBC. DA Davidson raised shares of East West Bancorp from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and raised their target price for the stock from $62.50 to $87.00 in a research note on Tuesday, March 30th. Morgan Stanley raised their target price on shares of East West Bancorp from $85.00 to $90.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research note on Thursday, April 29th. Jefferies Financial Group began coverage on shares of East West Bancorp in a report on Monday, March 22nd. They set a “buy” rating and a $89.00 price target for the company. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of East West Bancorp from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $54.00 price target for the company in a report on Tuesday, January 5th. Finally, UBS Group upgraded shares of East West Bancorp from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and raised their price target for the stock from $39.00 to $71.00 in a report on Friday, January 8th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and six have assigned a buy rating to the company. The company currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $90.00.

East West Bancorp stock traded up $0.89 during trading on Tuesday, hitting $77.11. The company had a trading volume of 552,528 shares, compared to its average volume of 875,587. East West Bancorp has a 1-year low of $29.53 and a 1-year high of $82.53. The company has a current ratio of 1.01, a quick ratio of 1.01 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.44. The company’s 50 day simple moving average is $75.14 and its 200-day simple moving average is $59.45. The stock has a market cap of $10.94 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 18.55, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.53 and a beta of 1.98.

East West Bancorp (NASDAQ:EWBC) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, April 21st. The financial services provider reported $1.44 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.26 by $0.18. The firm had revenue of $426.56 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $407.91 million. East West Bancorp had a net margin of 31.05% and a return on equity of 11.80%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 2.0% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $1.00 EPS. As a group, analysts forecast that East West Bancorp will post 3.85 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, May 17th. Shareholders of record on Monday, May 3rd will be paid a $0.33 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, April 30th. This represents a $1.32 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.71%. East West Bancorp’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 27.27%.

About East West Bancorp

East West Bancorp, Inc operates as the bank holding company for East West Bank that provides a range of personal and commercial banking services to businesses and individuals in the United States and Greater China. It operates through three segments: Consumer and Business Banking, Commercial Banking, and Other.

Further Reading: P/E Growth (PEG)

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