SunTrust Banks (NYSE:STI) Cut to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

SunTrust Banks (NYSE:STI) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued to investors on Wednesday, December 27th.

According to Zacks, “SunTrust’s shares have outperformed the industry over the past six months. Also, the company has an impressive earnings surprise history, having surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate in three of the trailing four quarters. Easing margin pressure, rise in loan demand, initiatives to control costs and improving asset quality will continue to support the company’s profitability. Further, lower corporate tax rate will likely support profitability. However, continued slowdown in mortgage operations is expected to have an adverse impact on the bank’s non-interest income. Also, the company's significant exposure to commercial and residential loan portfolios remains a concern.”

STI has been the topic of several other research reports. Nomura upped their target price on SunTrust Banks from $63.00 to $64.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research report on Thursday, October 26th. Barclays upped their target price on SunTrust Banks from $65.00 to $68.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a research report on Monday, October 23rd. Wedbush lowered SunTrust Banks from an “outperform” rating to a “neutral” rating and cut their target price for the company from $71.00 to $63.00 in a research report on Thursday, December 21st. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Robert W. Baird reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $55.00 price target on shares of SunTrust Banks in a report on Sunday, October 1st. Finally, Credit Suisse Group upgraded SunTrust Banks from an “underperform” rating to a “neutral” rating and increased their price target for the stock from $56.00 to $60.00 in a report on Monday, October 9th. Fourteen research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and thirteen have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $67.88.

Shares of SunTrust Banks (NYSE:STI) opened at $67.70 on Wednesday. SunTrust Banks has a 52-week low of $51.96 and a 52-week high of $68.62. The company has a market capitalization of $32,230.00, a PE ratio of 17.36, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.58 and a beta of 1.29. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.50, a current ratio of 0.94 and a quick ratio of 0.93.

SunTrust Banks (NYSE:STI) last released its quarterly earnings results on Friday, October 20th. The financial services provider reported $1.06 EPS for the quarter, meeting analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.06. SunTrust Banks had a return on equity of 8.83% and a net margin of 20.88%. The firm had revenue of $2.31 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.30 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $0.91 EPS. The business’s revenue was up 3.7% on a year-over-year basis. equities research analysts expect that SunTrust Banks will post 4.07 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In other news, Director Kyle P. Legg sold 3,300 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, November 7th. The stock was sold at an average price of $21.82, for a total value of $72,006.00. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, Vice Chairman Mark A. Chancy sold 4,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, November 29th. The stock was sold at an average price of $60.06, for a total value of $240,240.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 0.55% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of STI. Fiduciary Trust Co. purchased a new stake in shares of SunTrust Banks during the second quarter valued at approximately $118,000. Advisory Services Network LLC increased its position in shares of SunTrust Banks by 0.9% during the second quarter. Advisory Services Network LLC now owns 2,140 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $121,000 after acquiring an additional 20 shares during the last quarter. Westwood Holdings Group Inc. purchased a new stake in shares of SunTrust Banks during the second quarter valued at approximately $136,000. Tiedemann Wealth Management LLC increased its position in shares of SunTrust Banks by 12.1% during the third quarter. Tiedemann Wealth Management LLC now owns 26,961 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $142,000 after acquiring an additional 2,920 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Dupont Capital Management Corp increased its position in shares of SunTrust Banks by 55.2% during the third quarter. Dupont Capital Management Corp now owns 2,623 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $157,000 after acquiring an additional 933 shares during the last quarter. 80.69% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

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About SunTrust Banks

SunTrust Banks, Inc is a provider of financial services. The Company’s principal subsidiary is SunTrust Bank (the Bank). The Company’s business segments include Consumer Banking and Private Wealth Management, Wholesale Banking, Mortgage Banking and Corporate Other. As of December 31, 2016, the Consumer Banking and Private Wealth Management segment consisted of three primary businesses: Consumer Banking, Consumer Lending and Private Wealth Management.

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