East West Bancorp (NASDAQ:EWBC) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note issued to investors on Monday.

According to Zacks, “East West Bancorp's shares have underperformed the industry over the past year. Yet, the company has an impressive earnings surprise history, surpassing the Zacks Consensus Estimate in three out of the trailing four quarters. The bank has been witnessing a steady rise in operating expenses, which is expected to hurt profitability. Also, rise in provisions for loan losses due to worsening asset quality is expected to hamper profitability to some extent. However, earnings estimates have been going upward ahead of the company’s fourth quarter results. Although the increase in loans and deposits along with rising interest rates are expected to support revenues, the company’s high exposures to commercial real estate loans remains  a concern.”

Several other equities research analysts also recently commented on the company. BidaskClub upgraded East West Bancorp from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Tuesday, October 30th. Morgan Stanley dropped their target price on East West Bancorp from $67.00 to $61.00 and set an “equal weight” rating on the stock in a report on Tuesday, December 11th. Wells Fargo & Co set a $76.00 target price on East West Bancorp and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, October 2nd. BMO Capital Markets dropped their target price on East West Bancorp from $73.00 to $68.00 and set an “outperform” rating on the stock in a report on Friday, October 19th. Finally, DA Davidson upgraded East West Bancorp from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, November 27th. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, two have assigned a hold rating and eight have issued a buy rating to the company. East West Bancorp currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $70.00.

Shares of NASDAQ:EWBC traded down $0.07 during mid-day trading on Monday, hitting $47.31. 205,557 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 886,085. The company has a market cap of $6.85 billion, a P/E ratio of 13.67, a PEG ratio of 0.89 and a beta of 1.49. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.11, a quick ratio of 1.01 and a current ratio of 1.01. East West Bancorp has a 52-week low of $40.05 and a 52-week high of $73.98.

East West Bancorp (NASDAQ:EWBC) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, October 18th. The financial services provider reported $1.17 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.14 by $0.03. The business had revenue of $395.22 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $398.25 million. East West Bancorp had a return on equity of 15.70% and a net margin of 34.80%. During the same period last year, the business posted $0.91 EPS. Analysts predict that East West Bancorp will post 4.63 earnings per share for the current year.

A number of hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of EWBC. SRS Capital Advisors Inc. bought a new stake in shares of East West Bancorp in the 3rd quarter valued at approximately $100,000. National Pension Service increased its holdings in shares of East West Bancorp by 138.4% in the 3rd quarter. National Pension Service now owns 2,148 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $130,000 after acquiring an additional 1,247 shares during the last quarter. First Hawaiian Bank bought a new stake in shares of East West Bancorp in the 3rd quarter valued at approximately $169,000. Oppenheimer Asset Management Inc. bought a new stake in shares of East West Bancorp in the 3rd quarter valued at approximately $202,000. Finally, Moody Aldrich Partners LLC bought a new stake in shares of East West Bancorp in the 3rd quarter valued at approximately $207,000. Institutional investors own 87.80% of the company’s stock.

East West Bancorp Company Profile

East West Bancorp, Inc operates as the bank holding company for East West Bank that provides a range of personal and commercial banking services to small and medium-sized businesses, business executives, professionals, and other individuals in the United States and Greater China. It operates through three segments: Retail Banking, Commercial Banking, and Other.

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