Sterling Bancorp (NYSE:STL)’s share price reached a new 52-week high during trading on Wednesday . The company traded as high as $17.79 and last traded at $17.53, with a volume of 538,158 shares trading hands. The stock had previously closed at $17.60.

A number of research firms have recently commented on STL. Jefferies Group reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $18.50 price target on shares of Sterling Bancorp in a research report on Thursday, July 7th. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods raised their price objective on shares of Sterling Bancorp from $18.00 to $19.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a research note on Thursday, July 28th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Sterling Bancorp from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $18.00 price objective on the stock in a research note on Tuesday, May 31st. Finally, Maxim Group began coverage on shares of Sterling Bancorp in a research note on Wednesday, June 22nd. They issued a “buy” rating and a $19.00 price objective on the stock. One research analyst has rated the stock with a hold rating and five have assigned a buy rating to the stock. Sterling Bancorp has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $18.70.

The firm has a 50 day moving average price of $17.00 and a 200-day moving average price of $16.08. The firm has a market cap of $2.30 billion and a PE ratio of 19.35.

Sterling Bancorp (NYSE:STL) last released its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, July 26th. The financial services provider reported $0.27 earnings per share for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.28 by $0.01. The business earned $119.51 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $34.78 million. Analysts forecast that Sterling Bancorp will post $0.69 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, August 23rd. Shareholders of record on Monday, August 8th were given a dividend of $0.07 per share. This represents a $0.28 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.59%. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, August 4th.

In other news, insider Michael E. Finn sold 16,480 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, August 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $16.86, for a total transaction of $277,852.80. Following the sale, the insider now owns 34,822 shares in the company, valued at approximately $587,098.92. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, Director Craig S. Thompson sold 4,847 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, August 26th. The stock was sold at an average price of $17.20, for a total value of $83,368.40. Following the sale, the director now owns 255,600 shares in the company, valued at approximately $4,396,320. The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

An institutional investor recently raised its position in Sterling Bancorp stock. Principal Financial Group Inc. increased its position in Sterling Bancorp (NYSE:STL) by 4.5% during the fourth quarter, according to its most recent filing with the SEC. The institutional investor owned 802,268 shares of the financial services provider’s stock after buying an additional 34,568 shares during the period. Principal Financial Group Inc. owned approximately 0.62% of Sterling Bancorp worth $13,013,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Sterling Bancorp is a financial holding company. The Company is a bank holding company that owns the Sterling National Bank (the Bank). The Bank specializes in the delivery of services and solutions to business owners, their families and consumers within the communities it serves. The Bank offers a line of commercial, business, and consumer banking products and services.

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