UPDATE: Wells Fargo Downgrades Associated Banc-Corp (ASB) to Equal Weight
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Wells Fargo analyst Jared Shaw downgraded Associated Banc-Corp (NYSE: ASB) from Overweight to Equal Weight with a price target of $24.00 (from $18.00).
The analyst comments "We are downgrading the shares of ASB to Equal Weight, as we believe the near-term credit catalyst has played out and loan growth will be challenging in the near-term. Our primary thesis on mid-cap banks is owning names with good growth, solid capital and discounted valuation. While ASB has the capital and valuation, growth lags the group and the primary markets will likely lag national trends. In the past, ASB had scored higher on our Consolidation Scorecard which helped offset the growth profile, but with a new, younger CEO in place, that Consolidation score drops and we no longer consider that as part of the near-term potential catalysts. As with any change in management, we expect the new CEO to develop and implement his own take on strategy and operations, which will likely keep the bank internally focused for the time being. Given these expectations, we believe the shares are fairly valued at current levels and reiterate our $24 price target."
Shares of Associated Banc-Corp closed at $23.13 yesterday.
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