Zacks Investment Research Lowers First Busey (NASDAQ:BUSE) to Sell

Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of First Busey (NASDAQ:BUSE) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note issued to investors on Monday morning, Zacks.com reports.

According to Zacks, “First Busey Corporation is a financial holding company located in Urbana, Illinois. First Busey is engaged primarily in commercial, retail and correspondent banking and provides trust services, insurance services, and travel services. “

A number of other analysts have also weighed in on BUSE. Stephens initiated coverage on shares of LiqTech International in a research report on Tuesday, July 9th. They issued an overweight rating and a $13.00 price objective on the stock. BidaskClub lowered shares of Weyco Group from a sell rating to a strong sell rating in a research report on Saturday. Finally, B. Riley reissued a neutral rating on shares of New York Community Bancorp in a research report on Wednesday, April 10th. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, two have assigned a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. First Busey has a consensus rating of Hold and an average target price of $30.50.

Shares of NASDAQ BUSE opened at $26.04 on Monday. The firm’s 50-day simple moving average is $25.73. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.23, a current ratio of 0.85 and a quick ratio of 0.85. The stock has a market cap of $1.48 billion, a PE ratio of 12.63, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.08 and a beta of 1.00. First Busey has a 12-month low of $23.13 and a 12-month high of $32.89.

First Busey (NASDAQ:BUSE) last announced its earnings results on Tuesday, April 23rd. The bank reported $0.48 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.51 by ($0.03). The business had revenue of $94.33 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $96.24 million. First Busey had a net margin of 25.94% and a return on equity of 10.23%. On average, equities analysts forecast that First Busey will post 2.12 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, July 26th. Investors of record on Friday, July 19th will be given a $0.21 dividend. This represents a $0.84 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.23%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, July 18th. First Busey’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 40.00%.

In other news, Director Stephen V. King acquired 48,910 shares of First Busey stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, May 6th. The shares were bought at an average cost of $26.83 per share, with a total value of $1,312,255.30. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 7,357 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $197,388.31. The acquisition was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, Director Thomas G. Sloan acquired 8,000 shares of First Busey stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, April 30th. The stock was purchased at an average cost of $25.91 per share, for a total transaction of $207,280.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 231,471 shares in the company, valued at $5,997,413.61. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Insiders purchased a total of 69,955 shares of company stock worth $1,859,546 over the last three months. 7.50% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the business. Great West Life Assurance Co. Can grew its stake in First Busey by 137.7% in the 4th quarter. Great West Life Assurance Co. Can now owns 4,636 shares of the bank’s stock worth $110,000 after acquiring an additional 2,686 shares in the last quarter. Amundi Pioneer Asset Management Inc. bought a new position in First Busey in the 4th quarter worth about $120,000. Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Co. grew its stake in First Busey by 474.7% in the 1st quarter. Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Co. now owns 6,960 shares of the bank’s stock worth $170,000 after acquiring an additional 5,749 shares in the last quarter. Centric Wealth Management bought a new position in First Busey in the 2nd quarter worth about $206,000. Finally, Legal & General Group Plc grew its stake in First Busey by 10.3% in the 4th quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 7,893 shares of the bank’s stock worth $194,000 after acquiring an additional 738 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 45.89% of the company’s stock.

About First Busey

First Busey Corporation operates as the bank holding company for Busey Bank that provides retail and commercial banking products and services to individual, corporate, institutional, and governmental customers in the United States. The company operates in three segments: Banking, Remittance Processing, and Wealth Management.

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