Value Hunters: Look To East West Bancorp Inc. (NASDAQ: EWBC)

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    The Vanguard Group, Inc. recently announced the acquisition of new stake in East West Bancorp Inc. (NASDAQ:EWBC). The institutional investor has increased its shareholding in the Financial company by 1.82% to 13.66 million shares with purchase of 0.24 million shares. This fresh investment now brings its stake to 9.66% valued currently at $477.5 million. In addition, Aristotle Capital Management LLC raised its holdings by 1.97 million to 8.83 million shares. And Capital Research & Management Co…. has lifted its position to 8.03 million shares – to 8.03 million shares.

    With over 0.53 million East West Bancorp Inc. (EWBC) shares trading Thursday and a closing price of $34.79 on the day, the dollar volume was approximately $18.39 million. The shares have shown a negative weekly performance of -4.29% and its price on 07/02/20 gained nearly 0.06%. Currently, there are 144.81M common shares owned by the public and among those 140.47M shares have been available to trade.

    Incidentally, analysts’ outlook for the East West Bancorp Inc. stock is 2.40 for the next 12 months. The average price target is 8.21% above its last price level.

    Insiders at the company have transacted a total of 36 times over the past 12 months, according to data filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). 28 of these insider trades were purchases, accounting for 220,527 shares. Insider sales of the common stock occurred on 8 occasions, with total insider shares sold totaling 89,524 shares.

    The top 3 mutual fund holders in East West Bancorp Inc. are Vanguard Total Stock Market Index, iShares Core S&P Mid Cap ETF, and Vanguard Small Cap Index Fund. Vanguard Total Stock Market Index owns 4.22 million shares of the company’s stock, all valued at over $147.59 million. The company sold 16805.0 shares recently to bring their total holdings to about 2.99% of the shares outstanding. iShares Core S&P Mid Cap ETF bought 8270.0 shares to see its total holdings expand to 3.97 million shares valued at over $138.87 million and representing 2.81% of the shares outstanding. Vanguard Small Cap Index Fund sold 23289.0 shares to bring its total holdings to over 3.78 million shares at a value of $132.0 million. Vanguard Small Cap Index Fund now owns shares totaling to 2.67% of the shares outstanding.

    Shares of East West Bancorp Inc. (NASDAQ: EWBC) opened at $35.94, up $1.17 from a prior closing price of $34.77. However, the script later closed the day at $34.79, up 0.06%. The company’s stock has a 5-day price change of -4.29% and 43.58% over the past three months. EWBC shares are trading -28.56% year to date (YTD), with the 12-month market performance down to -25.57% lower. It has a 12-month low price of $22.55 and touched a high of $51.88 over the same period. Currently, 0.53 million shares have been traded, compared to an average intraday trading volume of 1.42 million shares. The stock is trading above its simple moving averages at the SMA20, SMA50, and SMA200, as the current price level is off by -7.51%, -1.41%, and -13.61% respectively.

    Institutional ownership of East West Bancorp Inc. (NASDAQ: EWBC) shares accounts for 91.40% of the company’s 144.81M shares outstanding. Mutual fund holders own 33.26%, while other institutional holders and individual stakeholders account for 58.00% and 2.46% respectively.

    It has a market capitalization of $4.92B and a beta (3y monthly) value of 2.02. The stock’s trailing 12-month PE ratio is 7.76, while the earnings-per-share (ttm) stands at $4.49. The company has a PEG of 0.97 and a debt-to-equity ratio of0.03. Price movements for the stock have been influenced by the stock’s volatility, which stands at 5.03% over the week and 5.15% over the month.

    Analysts forecast that East West Bancorp Inc. (EWBC) will achieve an EPS of $0.79 for the current quarter, $0.95 for the next quarter and $3.54 for 2021. The lowest estimate earnings-per-share for the quarter is $0.49 while analysts give the company a high EPS estimate of $1.16. Comparatively, EPS for the current quarter was $1.03 a year ago. Earnings per share for the fiscal year are expected to decrease by -4.40%, and -3.73% over the next financial year. EPS should shrink at an annualized rate of 8.00% over the next five years, compared to 13.90% over the past 5-year period.

    If you are looking to buy this stock, then you may note that the average analyst recommendation by several brokerage firm advisors rate East West Bancorp Inc. (EWBC) as a “Moderate Buy” at a consensus score of 2.40.

    Looking at the support for the EWBC, a number of firms have released research notes about the stock. Compass Point stated their Neutral rating for the stock in a research note on April 14, 2020. Wells Fargo coverage for the East West Bancorp Inc. (EWBC) stock in a research note released on March 30, 2020 offered a Equal Weight rating with a price target of $31. DA Davidson was of a view on February 18, 2020 that the stock is Neutral, while UBS gave the stock Neutral rating on January 06, 2020, issuing a price target of $58- $50. Raymond James on their part issued Underperform rating on October 08, 2019.

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