Ameris Bancorp (ABCB) Downgraded to Sell at Zacks Investment Research

Ameris Bancorp (NASDAQ:ABCB) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a note issued to investors on Monday.

According to Zacks, “ABC Bancorp is a bank holding company. “

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ABCB has been the subject of a number of other research reports. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods raised Ameris Bancorp from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating in a report on Monday, November 20th. SunTrust Banks lifted their target price on Ameris Bancorp from $10.00 to $65.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Monday, January 29th. BidaskClub raised Ameris Bancorp from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, December 20th. ValuEngine raised Ameris Bancorp from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, March 1st. Finally, Sandler O’Neill set a $57.00 target price on Ameris Bancorp and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a report on Monday, January 29th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have assigned a hold rating, four have issued a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. The company has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $55.33.

Shares of Ameris Bancorp (ABCB) opened at $57.40 on Monday. The company has a quick ratio of 0.95, a current ratio of 0.98 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.42. The firm has a market capitalization of $2,221.77, a PE ratio of 28.84 and a beta of 1.21. Ameris Bancorp has a twelve month low of $41.05 and a twelve month high of $59.05.

Ameris Bancorp (NASDAQ:ABCB) last released its earnings results on Friday, January 26th. The bank reported $0.63 EPS for the quarter, hitting the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.63. Ameris Bancorp had a return on equity of 11.73% and a net margin of 18.44%. The firm had revenue of $89.90 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $96.28 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $0.63 earnings per share. The company’s revenue was up 3.1% compared to the same quarter last year. sell-side analysts forecast that Ameris Bancorp will post 3.49 EPS for the current year.

In related news, insider Edwin W. Hortman, Jr. sold 10,000 shares of Ameris Bancorp stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, March 12th. The stock was sold at an average price of $57.49, for a total transaction of $574,900.00. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, insider Edwin W. Hortman, Jr. sold 20,336 shares of Ameris Bancorp stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, March 7th. The shares were sold at an average price of $56.41, for a total value of $1,147,153.76. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 246,961 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $13,931,070.01. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 46,159 shares of company stock valued at $2,575,646 in the last ninety days. Corporate insiders own 3.63% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Aperio Group LLC raised its position in Ameris Bancorp by 145.0% during the fourth quarter. Aperio Group LLC now owns 10,436 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $503,000 after acquiring an additional 6,177 shares in the last quarter. Citadel Advisors LLC purchased a new position in Ameris Bancorp during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $1,222,000. Family Legacy Inc. purchased a new position in Ameris Bancorp during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $590,000. Swiss National Bank raised its position in Ameris Bancorp by 4.2% during the fourth quarter. Swiss National Bank now owns 64,764 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $3,122,000 after acquiring an additional 2,600 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Maltese Capital Management LLC raised its position in Ameris Bancorp by 4.0% during the third quarter. Maltese Capital Management LLC now owns 581,101 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $27,893,000 after acquiring an additional 22,201 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 83.28% of the company’s stock.

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About Ameris Bancorp

Ameris Bancorp is a financial holding company. The Company’s business is conducted through its banking subsidiary, Ameris Bank (the Bank), which provides a range of banking services to its retail and commercial customers. The Company operates through four segments: the Banking Division, the Retail Mortgage Division, the Warehouse Lending Division and the SBA Division.

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