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Chemung Financial Approves New Share Buyback Program; Street Says Hold

Chemung Financial Corp. authorized a new share buyback program, wherein it may repurchase about 5% of its outstanding shares or up to 250,000 shares. Shares closed 1% lower on Friday.

Chemung (CHMG), which operates through its subsidiary Chemung Canal Trust Company community bank, said that it will initiate the share repurchase program after its year-end earnings results.

Besides share repurchases, Chemung has recently paid a regular quarterly cash dividend of $0.26 per share on Jan. 4 to common shareholders of record as on Dec. 21, 2020. (See CHMG stock analysis on TipRanks).

The company’s annual dividend of $1.04 per share, translates into a dividend yield of 3.1%.

Earlier on Oct. 22, Seaport Global analyst David Bishop downgraded Chemung Financial to Hold from Buy, citing his forecast for “loan growth, margin pressure, a slightly higher expense base, and valuation.” Meanwhile, the analyst lifted his price target to $37 (9.7% upside potential) from $32, considering the company’s low cost of funds and impressive footprint strategy.

Overall, consensus among analysts is a Hold with 2 unanimous Holds. The average price target of $36.5 suggests that Chemung shares have upside potential of around 8.2% over the next 12 months. Shares have declined 16.1% over the past year.

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