Last week, you might have seen that United Community Banks, Inc. (NASDAQ:UCBI) released its annual result to the market. The early response was not positive, with shares down 2.3% to US$29.47 in the past week. Revenues came in 2.3% below expectations, at US$561m. Statutory earnings per share were relatively better off, with a per-share profit of US$2.31 being roughly in line with analyst estimates. Analysts typically update their forecasts at each earnings report, and we can judge from their estimates whether their view of the company has changed or if there are any new concerns to be aware of. With this in mind, we've gathered the latest statutory forecasts to see what analysts are expecting for next year.
Taking into account the latest results, the latest consensus from United Community Banks's eight analysts is for revenues of US$588.6m in 2020, which would reflect a modest 4.9% improvement in sales compared to the last 12 months. Statutory per share are forecast to be US$2.30, approximately in line with the last 12 months. Yet prior to the latest earnings, analysts had been forecasting revenues of US$584.6m and earnings per share (EPS) of US$2.28 in 2020. So it's pretty clear that, although analysts have updated their estimates, there's been no major change in expectations for the business following the latest results.
It will come as no surprise then, to learn that the consensus price target is largely unchanged at US$32.93. It could also be instructive to look at the range of analyst estimates, to evaluate how different the outlier opinions are from the mean. There are some variant perceptions on United Community Banks, with the most bullish analyst valuing it at US$35.00 and the most bearish at US$31.00 per share. Still, with such a tight range of estimates, it suggests analysts have a pretty good idea of what they think the company is worth.
It can be useful to take a broader overview by seeing how analyst forecasts compare, both to the United Community Banks's past performance and to peers in the same market. It's pretty clear that analysts expect United Community Banks's revenue growth will slow down substantially, with revenues next year expected to grow 4.9%, compared to a historical growth rate of 14% over the past five years. Juxtapose this against the other companies in the market with analyst coverage, which are forecast to grow their revenues (in aggregate) 4.9% next year. So it's pretty clear that, while United Community Banks's revenue growth is expected to slow, it's expected to grow roughly in line with the industry.
The Bottom Line
The most obvious conclusion from these results is that there's been no major change in the business' prospects in recent times, with analysts holding earnings per share steady, in line with previous estimates. Happily, there were no real changes to sales forecasts, with the business still expected to grow in line with the overall market. There was no real change to the consensus price target, suggesting that the intrinsic value of the business has not undergone any major changes with the latest estimates.
Still, the long-term prospects of the business are much more relevant than next year's earnings. We have estimates - from multiple United Community Banks analysts - going out to 2021, and you can see them free on our platform here.
We also provide an overview of the United Community Banks Board and CEO remuneration and length of tenure at the company, and whether insiders have been buying the stock, here.
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