SunTrust Banks (STI) Raised to Buy at Zacks Investment Research

SunTrust Banks (NYSE:STI) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Friday, January 5th. The brokerage presently has a $72.00 price objective on the financial services provider’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price objective would suggest a potential upside of 0.87% from the stock’s previous close.

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 and initiatives to control costs should continue to support the company’s profitability. Moreover, improving asset quality is another positive for the company. Further, a lower corporate tax rate is likely to support financials. However, significant exposure to risky loan portfolios and slowdown in mortgage business are the major near-term concerns for the company.”

Several other research analysts have also recently weighed in on the company. Goldman Sachs Group reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $74.00 target price on shares of SunTrust Banks in a research note on Thursday, January 4th. Barclays raised their target price on SunTrust Banks from $68.00 to $77.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a research note on Tuesday, January 2nd. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $77.00 target price on shares of SunTrust Banks in a research note on Friday, December 29th. Wedbush downgraded SunTrust Banks from an “outperform” rating to a “neutral” rating and reduced their target price for the company from $71.00 to $63.00 in a report on Thursday, December 21st. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Finally, UBS Group raised SunTrust Banks from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and upped their target price for the company from $62.00 to $73.00 in a report on Tuesday, December 12th. Fifteen investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and thirteen have given a buy rating to the company. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $68.48.

Shares of SunTrust Banks (NYSE STI) traded up $0.78 on Friday, reaching $71.38. The company had a trading volume of 2,328,730 shares, compared to its average volume of 3,930,000. The company has a market cap of $33,980.00, a P/E ratio of 15.93, a P/E/G ratio of 1.34 and a beta of 1.29. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.43, a quick ratio of 0.92 and a current ratio of 0.93. SunTrust Banks has a 52-week low of $51.96 and a 52-week high of $71.40.

SunTrust Banks (NYSE:STI) last released its quarterly earnings results on Friday, January 19th. The financial services provider reported $1.09 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.05 by $0.04. SunTrust Banks had a return on equity of 9.18% and a net margin of 23.35%. The company had revenue of $2.27 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.32 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business posted $0.90 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 5.1% compared to the same quarter last year. equities analysts predict that SunTrust Banks will post 4.98 EPS for the current year.

In other SunTrust Banks news, Director Kyle P. Legg sold 3,300 shares of the firm’s 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 transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, EVP Jerome T. Lienhard sold 29,248 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, January 23rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $17.37, for a total value of $508,037.76. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders have sold 36,548 shares of company stock worth $820,284. 0.55% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the business. Fiduciary Trust Co. bought a new stake in shares of SunTrust Banks in the 2nd quarter worth approximately $118,000. Advisory Services Network LLC lifted its position in shares of SunTrust Banks by 0.9% in the 2nd quarter. Advisory Services Network LLC now owns 2,140 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $121,000 after acquiring an additional 20 shares during the period. Westwood Holdings Group Inc. bought a new stake in shares of SunTrust Banks in the 2nd quarter worth approximately $136,000. Tiedemann Wealth Management LLC lifted its position in shares of SunTrust Banks by 12.1% in the 3rd quarter. Tiedemann Wealth Management LLC now owns 26,961 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $142,000 after acquiring an additional 2,920 shares during the period. Finally, Dupont Capital Management Corp lifted its position in shares of SunTrust Banks by 55.2% in the 3rd quarter. Dupont Capital Management Corp now owns 2,623 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $157,000 after acquiring an additional 933 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 80.65% of the company’s stock.

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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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