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Short Interest in Meridian Bancorp Inc (NASDAQ:EBSB) Decreases By 18.6%

Wednesday, September 16, 2020 | MarketBeat

Meridian Bancorp Inc (NASDAQ:EBSB) was the target of a significant drop in short interest in the month of August. As of August 31st, there was short interest totalling 588,300 shares, a drop of 18.6% from the August 15th total of 722,500 shares. Currently, 1.3% of the company's shares are sold short. Based on an average daily volume of 156,000 shares, the short-interest ratio is currently 3.8 days.

Meridian Bancorp stock traded down $0.13 during mid-day trading on Wednesday, reaching $11.05. The stock had a trading volume of 159,331 shares, compared to its average volume of 181,683. The firm has a market capitalization of $579.16 million, a PE ratio of 8.50 and a beta of 0.89. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.06, a quick ratio of 1.26 and a current ratio of 1.26. Meridian Bancorp has a fifty-two week low of $8.88 and a fifty-two week high of $20.86. The stock's 50-day simple moving average is $11.68 and its 200-day simple moving average is $11.69.

Meridian Bancorp (NASDAQ:EBSB) last announced its earnings results on Tuesday, July 21st. The savings and loans company reported $0.28 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters' consensus estimate of $0.26 by $0.02. The company had revenue of $56.03 million for the quarter, compared to analysts' expectations of $50.18 million. Meridian Bancorp had a return on equity of 9.27% and a net margin of 24.12%. On average, research analysts forecast that Meridian Bancorp will post 1.03 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, October 1st. Investors of record on Thursday, September 17th will be issued a dividend of $0.08 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, September 16th. This represents a $0.32 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.90%. Meridian Bancorp's dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 24.62%.

Institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC grew its position in shares of Meridian Bancorp by 45.2% in the first quarter. Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC now owns 70,099 shares of the savings and loans company's stock valued at $787,000 after purchasing an additional 21,815 shares in the last quarter. Federated Hermes Inc. lifted its holdings in Meridian Bancorp by 10.1% in the first quarter. Federated Hermes Inc. now owns 232,319 shares of the savings and loans company's stock valued at $2,607,000 after acquiring an additional 21,323 shares during the period. Wells Fargo & Company MN lifted its holdings in Meridian Bancorp by 11.1% in the first quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 97,657 shares of the savings and loans company's stock valued at $1,095,000 after acquiring an additional 9,735 shares during the period. Mackay Shields LLC bought a new position in Meridian Bancorp in the second quarter valued at about $1,616,000. Finally, Geode Capital Management LLC lifted its holdings in Meridian Bancorp by 6.6% in the first quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 785,447 shares of the savings and loans company's stock valued at $8,811,000 after acquiring an additional 48,425 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 67.01% of the company's stock.

EBSB has been the subject of several recent analyst reports. Raymond James raised Meridian Bancorp from an "outperform" rating to a "strong-buy" rating and set a $15.00 target price for the company in a research note on Wednesday, June 17th. Zacks Investment Research cut Meridian Bancorp from a "buy" rating to a "hold" rating in a research note on Friday, July 24th. Finally, BidaskClub raised Meridian Bancorp from a "strong sell" rating to a "sell" rating in a research note on Wednesday, August 12th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, one has assigned a hold rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company's stock. Meridian Bancorp has a consensus rating of "Hold" and an average target price of $14.00.

About Meridian Bancorp

Meridian Bancorp, Inc operates as the holding company for East Boston Savings Bank that provides various financial products and services for individuals and businesses primarily in Suffolk, Norfolk, Middlesex and Essex Counties, Massachusetts. The company accepts various deposit products, including non-interest-bearing demand deposits, such as checking accounts; interest-bearing demand accounts comprising NOW and money market accounts; savings accounts; and certificates of deposits, as well as commercial checking accounts.

See Also: Retained Earnings

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