South State (SSB) Upgraded by Zacks Investment Research to Hold

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of South State (NASDAQ:SSB) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report issued on Friday, Zacks.com reports.

According to Zacks, “South State Corporation is a bank holding company for South State Bank. The Bank provides a range of retail and commercial banking services, mortgage lending services, trust and investment services, and consumer finance loans. It offers demand, time and savings deposits, lending and credit card servicing; automated teller machine processing; and wealth management and trust services. South State Corporation, formerly known as First Financial Holdings, Inc., is headquartered in South Carolina. “

Several other research firms have also recently weighed in on SSB. BidaskClub cut shares of South State from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report on Friday, May 24th. SunTrust Banks lifted their price objective on shares of South State to $85.00 and gave the stock an in-line rating in a research report on Wednesday, May 1st. Finally, TheStreet upgraded shares of South State from a c+ rating to a b- rating in a research report on Tuesday, March 19th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating and seven have assigned a hold rating to the stock. South State has a consensus rating of Hold and an average target price of $78.40.

South State stock opened at $65.89 on Friday. The company has a current ratio of 0.99, a quick ratio of 0.99 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.26. The company has a market capitalization of $2.40 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 12.61 and a beta of 1.25. South State has a 1 year low of $56.55 and a 1 year high of $93.25.

South State (NASDAQ:SSB) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Monday, April 29th. The bank reported $1.26 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, hitting the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.26. The firm had revenue of $155.33 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $158.86 million. South State had a net margin of 25.49% and a return on equity of 8.27%. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business posted $1.39 earnings per share. Sell-side analysts predict that South State will post 5.34 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, May 17th. Shareholders of record on Friday, May 10th were given a dividend of $0.40 per share. This represents a $1.60 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.43%. This is a boost from South State’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.38. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, May 9th. South State’s payout ratio is presently 29.09%.

In other South State news, Director James C. Cherry sold 1,785 shares of South State stock in a transaction on Friday, May 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $75.96, for a total transaction of $135,588.60. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 7,000 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $531,720. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, insider Keith S. Rainwater sold 548 shares of South State stock in a transaction on Thursday, May 16th. The shares were sold at an average price of $73.60, for a total transaction of $40,332.80. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 5,398 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $397,292.80. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 2.05% of the company’s stock.

Several large investors have recently modified their holdings of SSB. JPMorgan Chase & Co. boosted its stake in shares of South State by 738.8% during the 1st quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 270,004 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $18,452,000 after buying an additional 237,815 shares during the period. Norges Bank acquired a new stake in shares of South State during the 4th quarter valued at $13,657,000. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP boosted its stake in shares of South State by 11.6% during the 1st quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 1,758,041 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $120,146,000 after buying an additional 182,934 shares during the period. Dalton Greiner Hartman Maher & Co. boosted its stake in shares of South State by 300.0% during the 1st quarter. Dalton Greiner Hartman Maher & Co. now owns 197,606 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $13,504,000 after buying an additional 148,206 shares during the period. Finally, New York State Common Retirement Fund boosted its stake in shares of South State by 109.1% during the 1st quarter. New York State Common Retirement Fund now owns 242,469 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $16,570,000 after buying an additional 126,520 shares during the period. 79.22% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

South State Company Profile

South State Corporation operates as the bank holding company for South State Bank that provides a range of retail and commercial banking services, mortgage lending services, trust and wealth management services, and consumer finance loans. The company accepts demand deposits, savings deposits, interest-bearing transaction accounts, certificates of deposit, and other time deposits; and offers lending and credit card, and ATM processing services.

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