BlackRock Inc. raised its holdings in shares of United Community Banks, Inc. (NASDAQ:UCBI) by 1.0% during the 4th quarter, according to the company in its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The fund owned 11,648,354 shares of the financial services provider’s stock after purchasing an additional 109,641 shares during the period. BlackRock Inc. owned approximately 0.15% of United Community Banks worth $249,973,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

A number of other institutional investors and hedge funds have also modified their holdings of UCBI. California Public Employees Retirement System increased its holdings in shares of United Community Banks by 13.4% in the fourth quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 210,659 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $4,521,000 after purchasing an additional 24,939 shares during the last quarter. Toronto Dominion Bank bought a new stake in shares of United Community Banks in the fourth quarter worth about $28,000. Piedmont Investment Advisors Inc. increased its holdings in shares of United Community Banks by 3.4% in the fourth quarter. Piedmont Investment Advisors Inc. now owns 18,835 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $404,000 after purchasing an additional 618 shares during the last quarter. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund bought a new stake in shares of United Community Banks in the fourth quarter worth about $646,000. Finally, Comerica Bank increased its holdings in shares of United Community Banks by 0.5% in the fourth quarter. Comerica Bank now owns 77,636 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $2,030,000 after purchasing an additional 420 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 88.22% of the company’s stock.

In related news, EVP Bradley J. Miller sold 8,627 shares of United Community Banks stock in a transaction dated Thursday, February 21st. The stock was sold at an average price of $29.16, for a total value of $251,563.32. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, insider Bill M. Gilbert sold 2,963 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, January 24th. The shares were sold at an average price of $26.03, for a total value of $77,126.89. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders sold 15,836 shares of company stock valued at $439,808. 1.77% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Several equities research analysts have recently issued reports on the company. Zacks Investment Research raised United Community Banks from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, January 29th. BidaskClub cut United Community Banks from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Friday, December 7th. ValuEngine cut United Community Banks from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Wednesday, March 6th. SunTrust Banks lifted their target price on United Community Banks to $29.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, January 25th. Finally, Stephens reaffirmed a “hold” rating and issued a $27.00 target price on shares of United Community Banks in a report on Wednesday, January 23rd. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $30.00.

UCBI opened at $26.47 on Friday. The stock has a market capitalization of $2.10 billion, a P/E ratio of 12.37 and a beta of 1.24. United Community Banks, Inc. has a 12 month low of $20.23 and a 12 month high of $34.18. The company has a quick ratio of 0.81, a current ratio of 0.82 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.29.

United Community Banks (NASDAQ:UCBI) last released its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, January 22nd. The financial services provider reported $0.57 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.55 by $0.02. The company had revenue of $135.82 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $137.89 million. United Community Banks had a return on equity of 12.27% and a net margin of 27.81%. The firm’s revenue was up 14.9% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $0.42 earnings per share. Analysts anticipate that United Community Banks, Inc. will post 2.25 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, April 5th. Investors of record on Friday, March 15th will be given a $0.16 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, March 14th. This represents a $0.64 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.42%. United Community Banks’s dividend payout ratio is currently 29.91%.

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About United Community Banks

United Community Banks, Inc operates as the bank holding company for United Community Bank that provides retail and corporate banking services to individuals and businesses. It offers various deposit accounts, such as checking accounts, savings and time deposits accounts, NOW accounts, money market deposits, and certificates of deposit.

Further Reading: SEC Filing

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for United Community Banks (NASDAQ:UCBI)

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