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Hovde Group upgrades Provident Financial Holdings to 'outperform'


Hovde Group analyst Kevin Swanson upgraded Riverside, Calif.-based Provident Financial Holdings Inc. to "outperform" from "market perform," with a $23 per share price target.

The analyst believes the company's shares will have slightly higher revaluations given its current share repurchase plan and the impact of its mortgage business closure, which is progressing faster than expected.

Swanson believes the closure will be a positive for Provident Financial as it will enable the company to focus entirely on its core bank performance.

The analyst is expecting full-year 2019 EPS of 88 cents and full-year 2020 EPS of $1.38 for the company.


Boenning & Scattergood analyst Matthew Schultheis initiated coverage on Richmond, Va.-based Union Bankshares Corp. with a "neutral" rating, and a price target of $34.54 per share.

Schultheis noted Union Bankshares' competitive position in the Virginia market, and suggested that investors hold onto their positions or even increase their holdings.

Union Bankshares could also benefit in the long-run from the merger between Winston Salem, N.C.-based BB&T Corp. and Atlanta-based SunTrust Banks Inc. given its wide reach in Virginia, balance sheet composition, legal lending limit and bank management, the analyst said. However, in order to benefit from the potential disruption brought by the merger, the company should increase its branch utilization by collecting commercial deposits and closing branches. The analyst also said the company's wealth management business is underscaled.

Schultheis expects full-year 2019 and 2020 EPS of $2.83 and $3.13, respectively.