East West Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:EWBC) Short Interest Update

East West Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:EWBC) was the recipient of a large decline in short interest in October. As of October 31st, there was short interest totalling 1,310,000 shares, a decline of 14.9% from the September 30th total of 1,540,000 shares. Based on an average daily trading volume, of 1,080,000 shares, the short-interest ratio is currently 1.2 days. Approximately 0.9% of the company’s stock are sold short.

East West Bancorp stock traded up $0.07 during mid-day trading on Friday, reaching $44.89. The stock had a trading volume of 582,500 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,233,422. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.18, a current ratio of 1.01 and a quick ratio of 1.01. East West Bancorp has a one year low of $37.69 and a one year high of $56.09. The company has a market capitalization of $6.53 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 9.63, a PEG ratio of 0.94 and a beta of 1.66. The company has a 50-day moving average price of $43.48 and a two-hundred day moving average price of $44.69.

East West Bancorp (NASDAQ:EWBC) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, October 17th. The financial services provider reported $1.17 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $1.20 by ($0.03). East West Bancorp had a net margin of 31.98% and a return on equity of 14.90%. The firm had revenue of $421.28 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $418.32 million. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $1.17 EPS. East West Bancorp’s revenue for the quarter was up 6.6% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities research analysts anticipate that East West Bancorp will post 4.78 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, November 15th. Shareholders of record on Friday, November 1st were issued a dividend of $0.275 per share. This represents a $1.10 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.45%. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, October 31st. East West Bancorp’s dividend payout ratio is currently 23.61%.

A number of analysts have recently commented on the stock. Raymond James cut shares of East West Bancorp from a “market perform” rating to an “underperform” rating in a report on Tuesday, October 8th. BidaskClub upgraded shares of East West Bancorp from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, October 31st. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of East West Bancorp from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $45.00 price target on the stock in a research note on Friday, October 4th. Morgan Stanley dropped their price target on shares of East West Bancorp from $55.00 to $54.00 and set an “overweight” rating on the stock in a research note on Tuesday, October 22nd. Finally, SunTrust Banks dropped their price target on shares of East West Bancorp from $55.00 to $54.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a research note on Thursday, October 3rd. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, two have assigned a hold rating and seven have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $53.43.

In other East West Bancorp news, EVP Catherine Zhou bought 2,512 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, September 3rd. The shares were purchased at an average price of $39.82 per share, for a total transaction of $100,027.84. Following the acquisition, the executive vice president now owns 2,512 shares in the company, valued at approximately $100,027.84. The purchase was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, Director Paul H. Irving bought 1,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, August 23rd. The shares were acquired at an average price of $38.69 per share, for a total transaction of $38,690.00. Following the acquisition, the director now owns 30,268 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,171,068.92. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. In the last 90 days, insiders have bought 38,052 shares of company stock worth $1,478,330. Company insiders own 0.61% of the company’s stock.

A number of large investors have recently modified their holdings of EWBC. FMR LLC lifted its holdings in East West Bancorp by 51.5% during the first quarter. FMR LLC now owns 510,524 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $24,490,000 after purchasing an additional 173,633 shares in the last quarter. Amundi Pioneer Asset Management Inc. lifted its holdings in East West Bancorp by 1.4% during the first quarter. Amundi Pioneer Asset Management Inc. now owns 201,028 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $9,643,000 after purchasing an additional 2,791 shares in the last quarter. Denali Advisors LLC purchased a new position in East West Bancorp during the second quarter valued at approximately $1,515,000. Handelsbanken Fonder AB lifted its holdings in East West Bancorp by 10.2% during the second quarter. Handelsbanken Fonder AB now owns 2,663,951 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $124,593,000 after purchasing an additional 246,578 shares in the last quarter. Finally, YHB Investment Advisors Inc. lifted its holdings in East West Bancorp by 1.4% during the second quarter. YHB Investment Advisors Inc. now owns 40,853 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $1,911,000 after purchasing an additional 559 shares in the last quarter. 87.76% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About East West Bancorp

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 businesses and individuals in the United States and Greater China. It operates in three segments: Consumer and Business Banking, Commercial Banking, and Other.

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