Taking on analysts’ expectations and winning: Atlantic Union Bankshares Corporation (AUB)

Atlantic Union Bankshares Corporation (NYSE: AUB) stock jumped 3.89% on Tuesday to $37.97 against a previous-day closing price of $36.55. With 0.52 million shares changed hands, the volume of the stock remained heavier than its average volume of 0.24 million shares. During the session, the Banks – Regional company that operates in wider Financial sector, reached to the highest price of $38.48 whereas the lowest price it dropped to was $36.95. The 52-week range on AUB shows that it touched its highest point at $42.00 and its lowest point at $30.26 during that stretch. It currently has a 1-year price target of $43.75. With its current market cap of 2.78 billion, AUB has annualized dividend of $1.20 while the current yield stands at 3.16%. Beta for the stock currently stands at 1.03.

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Price Performance and Earnings:

Stock performance is one of the indicators that investors use to determine whether they will profit from a stock. The price performance of AUB was up-trending over the past week, with a rise of 4.57%, but this was up by 9.52% over a month. Three-month performance surged to 17.12% while six-month performance rose 10.64%. The stock lost -3.56% in the past year, while it has gained 8.05% so far this year. A look at the trailing 12-month EPS for AUB yields 2.66 with Next year EPS estimates of 3.51. For the next quarter, that number is 0.81. This implies an EPS growth rate of 68.30% for this year and 21.79% for next year. EPS is expected to grow by 8.00% annually over the next five years; however, over the past five years, the company experienced an annual growth rate of 13.50%.

Float and Shares Shorts:

At present, 74.70 million AUB shares are outstanding with a float of 73.14 million shares on hand for trading. On Oct 13, 2022, short shares totaled 1.43 million, which was 1.92% higher than short shares on Sep 14, 2022. In addition to Mr. John C. Asbury as the firm’s Pres, CEO & Director, Mr. Robert Michael Gorman serves as its Exec. VP & CFO.

Institutional Ownership:

Through their ownership of 72.12% of AUB’s outstanding shares, institutional investors have majority control over the company. Other institutions hold 45.71% of AUB, in contrast to 26.63% held by mutual funds. Shares owned by individuals account for 2.16%. As the largest shareholder in AUB with 10.58% of the stake, The Vanguard Group, Inc. holds 7,904,982 shares worth 7,904,982. A second-largest stockholder of AUB, Dimensional Fund Advisors LP, holds 5,034,915 shares, controlling over 6.74% of the firm’s shares. BlackRock Fund Advisors is the third largest shareholder in AUB, holding 4,709,051 shares or 6.30% stake. With a 3.08% stake in AUB, the Vanguard Total Stock Market Index is the largest stakeholder. A total of 2,303,456 shares are owned by the mutual fund manager. The Franklin Small Cap Value Fund, which owns about 2.82% of AUB stock, is the second-largest Mutual Fund holder. It holds 2,105,924 shares valued at 74.0 million. Vanguard Small Cap Index Fund holds 2.58% of the stake in AUB, owning 1,925,125 shares worth 67.65 million.

Analysts Ratings:

Reading analyst opinions is an effective way to decide where to invest, and there are several opinions available for AUB since 4 analysts follow the stock currently. There are 4 analysts who recommend BUY ratings, while 0 suggest SELL ratings. Of the remaining analysts, 0 believe that the stock is worth HOLDING, 0 give it an OVERWEIGHT rating, and 0 thinks that it’s UNDERWEIGHT. In the same way, a target price assigned to a stock can also reveal much about its potential. With AUB analysts setting a high price target of $50.00 and a low target of $41.00, the average target price over the next 12 months is $43.75. Based on these targets, AUB could surge 31.68% to reach the target high and rise by 7.98% to reach the target low. Reaching the average price target will result in a growth of 15.22% from current levels.

EPS: Estimates vs Actual

It is also common to use earnings estimates to evaluate a firm’s growth potential and to determine trading strategy. AUB will report FY 2023 earnings on 01/23/2024. Analysts have provided yearly estimates in a range of $3.55 being high and $3.48 being low. For AUB, this leads to a yearly average estimate of $3.51. The earnings surprise of a firm occurs when the actual results change from the consensus earnings estimate. Atlantic Union Bankshares Corporation surprised analysts by -$0.02 when it reported $0.74 EPS against a consensus estimate of $0.76. The surprise factor in the prior quarter was -$0.01. Based on analyst estimates, the high estimate for the next quarter is $0.88 and the low estimate is $0.84. The average estimate for the next quarter is thus $0.86.

Summary of Insider Activity:

Insiders traded AUB stock several times over the past three months with 6 Buys and 2 Sells. In these transactions, 33,339 shares were bought while 3,099 shares were sold. The number of buy transactions has increased to 57 while that of sell transactions has risen to 31 over the past year. The total number of shares bought during that period was 120,148 while 17,559 shares were sold.

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