Webster Financial Corporation (NYSE: WBS): Street Finally Waking Up


    T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc. (I. recently announced the acquisition of new stake in Webster Financial Corporation (NYSE:WBS). The institutional investor has increased its shareholding in the Financial company by 17.68% to 12.59 million shares with purchase of 1.89 million shares. This fresh investment now brings its stake to 13.97% valued currently at $356.35 million. In addition, The Vanguard Group, Inc. raised its holdings by 0.15 million to 9.01 million shares. And Macquarie Investment Management B. has lifted its position by 19.70% or 0.51 million shares – to 3.11 million shares.

    With over 0.85 million Webster Financial Corporation (WBS) shares trading Wednesday and a closing price of $25.50 on the day, the dollar volume was approximately $21.6 million. The shares have shown a negative weekly performance of -10.87% and its price on 07/08/20 lost nearly -0.62%. Currently, there are 90.94M common shares owned by the public and among those 89.29M shares have been available to trade.

    An analysis of what Wall Street brokers have to say about the expected price targets for this stock gives us this picture: 13 analysts who have offered their price forecasts for WBS have a consensus price objective of $30.38. The analysts have set the share’s price value over the next 12 months at a high of $37.00 and a low of $23.50 should the stock experience a downside. Incidentally, analysts’ outlook for the Webster Financial Corporation stock is 2.30 for the next 12 months. The average price target is 15.59% above its last price level and an upside to the estimated low will see the stock lose -8.51% over that period. But an upside of 31.08% will see the stock hit the forecast high price target while mean target price for the stock is $29.50.

    Insiders at the company have transacted a total of 82 times over the past 12 months, according to data filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). 39 of these insider trades were purchases, accounting for 183,577 shares. Insider sales of the common stock occurred on 43 occasions, with total insider shares sold totaling 49,467 shares.

    The top 3 mutual fund holders in Webster Financial Corporation are T Rowe Price Mid Cap Growth Fund, Vanguard Total Stock Market Index, and iShares Core S&P Mid Cap ETF. T Rowe Price Mid Cap Growth Fund owns 4.0 million shares of the company’s stock, all valued at over $113.2 million. The company bought an additional 0.7 million shares recently to bring their total holdings to about 4.44% of the shares outstanding. Vanguard Total Stock Market Index sold 2030.0 shares to see its total holdings shrink to 2.66 million shares valued at over $75.36 million and representing 2.95% of the shares outstanding. iShares Core S&P Mid Cap ETF bought 5220.0 shares to bring its total holdings to over 2.51 million shares at a value of $70.9 million. iShares Core S&P Mid Cap ETF now owns shares totaling to 2.78% of the shares outstanding.

    Shares of Webster Financial Corporation (NYSE: WBS) opened at $25.51, down -$0.15 from a prior closing price of $25.66. However, the script later closed the day at $25.50, down -0.62%. The company’s stock has a 5-day price change of -10.87% and 8.65% over the past three months. WBS shares are trading -52.21% year to date (YTD), with the 12-month market performance down to -45.23% lower. It has a 12-month low price of $18.16 and touched a high of $54.04 over the same period. Currently, 0.85 million shares have been traded, compared to an average intraday trading volume of 910.37K shares. The stock is trading above its simple moving averages at the SMA20, SMA50, and SMA200, as the current price level is off by -11.68%, -7.56%, and -33.86% respectively.

    Institutional ownership of Webster Financial Corporation (NYSE: WBS) shares accounts for 88.80% of the company’s 90.94M shares outstanding. Mutual fund holders own 31.74%, while other institutional holders and individual stakeholders account for 56.19% and 11.84% respectively.

    It has a market capitalization of $2.32B and a beta (3y monthly) value of 1.72. The stock’s trailing 12-month PE ratio is 7.51, while the earnings-per-share (ttm) stands at $3.40. The company has a PEG of 0.39 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.19. Price movements for the stock have been influenced by the stock’s volatility, which stands at 6.02% over the week and 6.21% over the month.

    Analysts forecast that Webster Financial Corporation (WBS) will achieve an EPS of $0.49 for the current quarter, $0.7 for the next quarter and $2.72 for 2021. The lowest estimate earnings-per-share for the quarter is -$0.09 while analysts give the company a high EPS estimate of $0.72. Comparatively, EPS for the current quarter was $1.05 a year ago. Earnings per share for the fiscal year are expected to increase by 9.90%, and 20.99% over the next financial year. EPS should grow at an annualized rate of 19.40% over the next five years, compared to 14.30% over the past 5-year period.

    If you are looking to buy this stock, then you may note that the average analyst recommendation by 13 brokerage firm advisors rate Webster Financial Corporation (WBS) as a “Moderate Buy” at a consensus score of 2.30. Specifically, 7 Wall Street analysts polled rate the stock as a buy, while 6 of the 13 advise that investors “hold,” and 0 rated it as a “Sell.”

    Looking at the support for the WBS, a number of firms have released research notes about the stock. RBC Capital Mkts stated their Outperform rating for the stock in a research note on June 24, 2020, with the firm’s price target at $37. Compass Point coverage for the Webster Financial Corporation (WBS) stock in a research note released on April 22, 2020 offered a Neutral rating with a price target of $24. Raymond James was of a view on April 06, 2020 that the stock is Strong Buy, while Wells Fargo gave the stock Overweight rating on March 30, 2020, issuing a price target of $47- $27. Stephens on their part issued Equal-Weight rating on January 24, 2020.


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