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Analyst Raises Zions Bancorp Price Target After Board Approves Buyback

Priya Nigam

Zions Bancorporation (NASDAQ: ZION) has a healthy core deposit base, which Raymond James says should allow it to maintain a lower deposit beta than peers. The company should be able to record consistent mid-single digit loan growth and favorable credit metrics, while using its excess capital to repurchase shares.

The Analyst

Raymond James’ David Long maintains a Strong Buy rating on Zions Bancorp, raising the price target from $56 to $57.

The Thesis

Zions Bancorp’s board approved an accelerated repurchase plan for the first quarter, of up to $275 million shares of its common stock, which translates to about 5.5 million shares.

While the estimate was for a substantially lower $164 million in repurchases, Long said the higher authorization is not surprising, with the company having discussed this as a possibility during its earnings call last week.

The analyst raised the EPS estimates for 2019 by 5 cents to $4.38, to reflect the resulting lower share count as well as a slight increase in expected loan growth.

The company’s stock is attractively valued, given “its EPS growth prospects, a relatively safe balance sheet, and improving profitability metrics," Long wrote in the report.

Price Action

Shares of Zions Bancorp traded at $48.72 Monday afternoon.

Related Links:

Earnings Scheduled For January 22, 2019

Benzinga's Top Upgrades, Downgrades For December 17, 2018

Latest Ratings for ZION

Date Firm Action From To
Dec 2018 Argus Initiates Coverage On Buy
Nov 2018 PiperJaffray Upgrades Neutral Overweight
Nov 2018 PiperJaffray Upgrades Neutral Overweight

View More Analyst Ratings for ZION
View the Latest Analyst Ratings

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