Popular (NASDAQ:BPOP) downgraded to “Sell” at Zacks Investment Research

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Popular (NASDAQ:BPOP) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note released on Friday, Zacks.com reports.

According to Zacks, “Popular, Inc. is a diversified public bank holding company. The company’s main subsidiary, Banco Popular de Puerto Rico, has one of the largest retail franchises in Puerto Rico, operating numerous branches and ATMs. The Bank also operates branches in the US Virgin Islands, British Virgin Islands and New York.”

Several other brokerages have also recently released reports on BPOP. Royal Bank of Canada raised its price target on Popular’s shares from $83.00 to $91.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a Thursday, Oct. 21 research report. The Hovde Group began covering Popular’s actions in a research report on Monday, December 20. They set an “outperform” rating and a price target of $107.00 on the stock. Finally, Wells Fargo & Company began covering Popular’s stock in a research report on Tuesday, November 9. They set an “overweight” rating and a price target of $115.00 on the stock. One analyst rated the stock with a sell rating and four gave the stock a buy rating. Based on data from MarketBeat.com, the stock has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $95.33.

The popular stocks traded down $2.25 during Friday’s midday session, hitting $88.37. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 740,719 shares, compared to an average volume of 849,208. The stock has a market capitalization of $7.06 billion, a price-earnings ratio of 8.06 and a beta of 1.12. The company has a 50-day moving average price of $84.01 and a 200-day moving average price of $79.23. Popular has a 12-month low of $54.01 and a 12-month high of $99.49.

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Popular (NASDAQ:BPOP) last released its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, October 19. The bank reported EPS of $3.09 for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $2.24 by $0.85. The company posted revenue of $658.65 million in the quarter, versus a consensus estimate of $631.74 million. Popular had a net margin of 33.16% and a return on equity of 15.29%. In the same period a year earlier, the company posted earnings per share of $2.00. Stock analysts expect Popular to post earnings per share of 10.95 for the current year.

In other popular news, Executive Vice President Luis E. Cestero sold 4,200 shares of the company in a trade dated Thursday, November 11. The shares were sold at an average price of $84.26, for a total value of $353,892.00. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available on the SEC’s website. Additionally, Executive Vice President Juan Guerrero sold 10,000 shares in a trade that took place on Wednesday, November 3. The shares were sold at an average price of $83.20, for a total transaction of $832,000.00. The disclosure of this sale can be found here. In the past 90 days, insiders have sold 39,486 shares of the company worth $3,336,719. Company insiders hold 1.69% of the company’s shares.

Several large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Bank of America Corp DE increased its position in Popular by 203.9% during the second quarter. Bank of America Corp DE now owns 456,680 shares of the bank valued at $34,273,000 after purchasing an additional 306,388 shares during the period. Principal Financial Group Inc. increased its position in Popular by 33.2% during the second quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 53,676 shares of the bank valued at $4,028,000 after purchasing an additional 13,389 shares during the period. Foster & Motley Inc. increased its position in Popular by 28.2% during the third quarter. Foster & Motley Inc. now owns 6,309 shares of the bank valued at $490,000 after purchasing an additional 1,389 shares during the period. Boston Private Wealth LLC increased its position in Popular by 2.3% during the third quarter. Boston Private Wealth LLC now owns 7,018 shares of the bank valued at $546,000 after purchasing an additional 159 shares during the period. Finally, the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board increased its position in Popular by 58.1% during the second quarter. The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board now owns 60,000 shares of the bank valued at $4,503,000 after purchasing an additional 22,045 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors hold 84.58% of the company’s shares.

Popular Company Profile

Popular, Inc operates as a holding company. The company engages in the provision of banking and financial services. It operates through the following segments: Banco Popular de Puerto Rico and Popular US The Banco Popular de Puerto Rico segment includes retail, mortgage and commercial banking.

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