United Community Financial Corp. (NASDAQ:UCFC) Stock Rating Upgraded by Zacks Investment Research

United Community Financial Corp. (NASDAQ:UCFC) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report issued on Saturday, July 22nd. The firm presently has a $10.00 price objective on the savings and loans company’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s target price suggests a potential upside of 11.23% from the stock’s previous close.

According to Zacks, “United Community Financial Corporation is a very traditional savings and loan company. While the company intends to remain committed to financing home ownership, it also believes it must gradually expand the types of loan products it offers in order to meet the needs of its market area and to improve profitability. The company began to commit substantial resources to the commercial lending area, which is headed and staffed by individuals with very extensive commercial banking experience. “

A number of other research firms have also commented on UCFC. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $11.00 price objective on shares of United Community Financial Corp. in a research note on Friday, July 21st. Boenning Scattergood set a $10.00 price objective on shares of United Community Financial Corp. and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, July 19th.

United Community Financial Corp. (NASDAQ:UCFC) remained flat at $8.99 during midday trading on Friday. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 31,184 shares. The firm has a market capitalization of $446.94 million, a PE ratio of 21.71 and a beta of 0.57. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $8.85 and a 200-day moving average of $8.55. United Community Financial Corp. has a 12-month low of $6.41 and a 12-month high of $9.50.

United Community Financial Corp. (NASDAQ:UCFC) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 20th. The savings and loans company reported $0.16 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.14 by $0.02. United Community Financial Corp. had a net margin of 18.95% and a return on equity of 8.90%. The company had revenue of $27.58 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $26.20 million. Equities analysts anticipate that United Community Financial Corp. will post $0.57 EPS for the current year.

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In related news, General Counsel Jude J. Nohra sold 12,218 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, June 30th. The shares were sold at an average price of $8.37, for a total transaction of $102,264.66. Following the transaction, the general counsel now owns 80,867 shares in the company, valued at $676,856.79. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, CFO Timothy Esson sold 3,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, June 30th. The shares were sold at an average price of $8.35, for a total transaction of $25,050.00. Following the transaction, the chief financial officer now owns 60,692 shares in the company, valued at approximately $506,778.20. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 17,718 shares of company stock worth $148,990 in the last quarter. Company insiders own 3.56% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. GSA Capital Partners LLP acquired a new position in United Community Financial Corp. during the fourth quarter valued at about $173,000. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP raised its position in United Community Financial Corp. by 1.4% in the fourth quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 2,965,209 shares of the savings and loans company’s stock valued at $26,510,000 after buying an additional 42,231 shares during the period. Farmers Trust Co. raised its position in United Community Financial Corp. by 23.9% in the first quarter. Farmers Trust Co. now owns 14,423 shares of the savings and loans company’s stock valued at $120,000 after buying an additional 2,780 shares during the period. Oxford Asset Management acquired a new position in United Community Financial Corp. during the first quarter valued at about $221,000. Finally, Deprince Race & Zollo Inc. raised its position in United Community Financial Corp. by 1.1% in the first quarter. Deprince Race & Zollo Inc. now owns 884,380 shares of the savings and loans company’s stock valued at $7,376,000 after buying an additional 9,568 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 58.79% of the company’s stock.

About United Community Financial Corp.

United Community Financial Corp. is financial services holding company. The Company’s subsidiaries include The Home Savings and Loan Company of Youngstown, Ohio (Home Savings or the Bank), HSB Insurance, LLC and HSB Capital, LLC. The principal business of Home Savings is the origination of mortgage loans, including construction loans, on residential and nonresidential real estate located in Home Savings’ primary market area.

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