Zacks: Brokerages Anticipate Ameris Bancorp (ABCB) to Post $0.65 EPS

Brokerages expect Ameris Bancorp (NASDAQ:ABCB) to post $0.65 earnings per share (EPS) for the current quarter, according to Zacks. Two analysts have made estimates for Ameris Bancorp’s earnings, with the lowest EPS estimate coming in at $0.62 and the highest estimate coming in at $0.66. Ameris Bancorp reported earnings of $0.57 per share during the same quarter last year, which indicates a positive year over year growth rate of 14%. The company is expected to issue its next quarterly earnings report on Friday, July 28th.

According to Zacks, analysts expect that Ameris Bancorp will report full-year earnings of $2.59 per share for the current year, with EPS estimates ranging from $2.54 to $2.62. For the next year, analysts expect that the company will report earnings of $3.19 per share, with EPS estimates ranging from $3.10 to $3.25. Zacks’ earnings per share averages are a mean average based on a survey of sell-side research firms that that provide coverage for Ameris Bancorp.

Ameris Bancorp (NASDAQ:ABCB) last released its earnings results on Friday, April 21st. The bank reported $0.60 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.58 by $0.02. Ameris Bancorp had a return on equity of 12.84% and a net margin of 20.91%. The company had revenue of $86.30 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $86.84 million.

A number of equities research analysts recently issued reports on ABCB shares. Stephens reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $52.00 target price on shares of Ameris Bancorp in a research report on Friday, April 21st. SunTrust Banks, Inc. raised Ameris Bancorp from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $55.00 target price on the stock in a research report on Wednesday, April 26th. Zacks Investment Research raised Ameris Bancorp from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, April 28th. Finally, Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reissued a “hold” rating and issued a $51.00 target price on shares of Ameris Bancorp in a research report on Friday, April 21st. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the company. Ameris Bancorp currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $49.20.

Ameris Bancorp (NASDAQ:ABCB) opened at 47.15 on Tuesday. Ameris Bancorp has a 1-year low of $27.92 and a 1-year high of $49.50. The firm’s 50-day moving average price is $45.67 and its 200 day moving average price is $44.15. The stock has a market cap of $1.68 billion, a PE ratio of 20.58 and a beta of 1.39.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, April 10th. Investors of record on Friday, March 31st were given a $0.10 dividend. This represents a $0.40 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 0.85%. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, March 29th. Ameris Bancorp’s dividend payout ratio is presently 19.32%.

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In related news, COO Dennis J. Zember, Jr. sold 15,000 shares of Ameris Bancorp stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, May 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $47.38, for a total value of $710,700.00. Following the sale, the chief operating officer now owns 148,727 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $7,046,685.26. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, Director Elizabeth A. Mccague bought 1,060 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, May 8th. The stock was purchased at an average cost of $47.00 per share, for a total transaction of $49,820.00. Following the transaction, the director now owns 2,180 shares in the company, valued at approximately $102,460. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. In the last three months, insiders sold 47,815 shares of company stock worth $2,262,593. 3.88% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. RMB Capital Management LLC raised its stake in shares of Ameris Bancorp by 263.6% in the third quarter. RMB Capital Management LLC now owns 850,538 shares of the bank’s stock worth $29,726,000 after buying an additional 616,604 shares in the last quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. raised its stake in shares of Ameris Bancorp by 4,646.1% in the third quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 97,200 shares of the bank’s stock worth $3,397,000 after buying an additional 95,152 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Investment Management LLC raised its stake in shares of Ameris Bancorp by 3.3% in the third quarter. BlackRock Investment Management LLC now owns 147,425 shares of the bank’s stock worth $5,153,000 after buying an additional 4,660 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Fund Advisors raised its stake in shares of Ameris Bancorp by 23.3% in the third quarter. BlackRock Fund Advisors now owns 2,338,744 shares of the bank’s stock worth $81,739,000 after buying an additional 442,347 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Rhumbline Advisers raised its stake in shares of Ameris Bancorp by 3.3% in the third quarter. Rhumbline Advisers now owns 54,501 shares of the bank’s stock worth $1,905,000 after buying an additional 1,725 shares in the last quarter. 82.37% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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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