Country Trust Bank Decreases Stake in Wells Fargo & Co (WFC)

Country Trust Bank lowered its position in shares of Wells Fargo & Co (NYSE:WFC) by 1.3% in the fourth quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the SEC. The firm owned 781,781 shares of the financial services provider’s stock after selling 9,936 shares during the quarter. Wells Fargo & Co comprises approximately 2.0% of Country Trust Bank’s holdings, making the stock its 11th largest holding. Country Trust Bank’s holdings in Wells Fargo & Co were worth $47,431,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Several other large investors have also recently modified their holdings of WFC. Beach Investment Management LLC. purchased a new position in Wells Fargo & Co in the 2nd quarter worth approximately $1,010,000. Kovitz Investment Group Partners LLC boosted its holdings in Wells Fargo & Co by 3.5% in the 2nd quarter. Kovitz Investment Group Partners LLC now owns 810,001 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $44,882,000 after acquiring an additional 27,104 shares during the period. Palisade Asset Management LLC boosted its holdings in Wells Fargo & Co by 15.1% in the 2nd quarter. Palisade Asset Management LLC now owns 220,065 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $12,194,000 after acquiring an additional 28,910 shares during the period. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. boosted its holdings in Wells Fargo & Co by 4.2% in the 2nd quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 14,919,302 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $826,679,000 after acquiring an additional 607,497 shares during the period. Finally, Cadinha & Co. LLC boosted its holdings in Wells Fargo & Co by 1.1% in the 2nd quarter. Cadinha & Co. LLC now owns 39,341 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $2,180,000 after acquiring an additional 419 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 75.69% of the company’s stock.

Shares of Wells Fargo & Co (NYSE:WFC) opened at $59.95 on Wednesday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.23, a quick ratio of 0.88 and a current ratio of 0.90. The stock has a market capitalization of $295,210.00, a P/E ratio of 17.38, a P/E/G ratio of 1.57 and a beta of 1.01. Wells Fargo & Co has a 52-week low of $49.27 and a 52-week high of $66.31.

Wells Fargo & Co (NYSE:WFC) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Friday, January 12th. The financial services provider reported $0.97 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.04 by ($0.07). The firm had revenue of $22.05 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $22.64 billion. Wells Fargo & Co had a net margin of 22.57% and a return on equity of 12.24%. The business’s revenue was up 2.2% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $0.96 earnings per share. research analysts predict that Wells Fargo & Co will post 4.72 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, March 1st. Investors of record on Friday, February 2nd will be given a dividend of $0.39 per share. This represents a $1.56 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.60%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, February 1st. Wells Fargo & Co’s dividend payout ratio is currently 45.22%.

Wells Fargo & Co announced that its board has initiated a stock buyback plan on Tuesday, January 23rd that permits the company to buyback 350,000,000 outstanding shares. This buyback authorization permits the financial services provider to purchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares buyback plans are often an indication that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.

WFC has been the subject of a number of analyst reports. Sandler O’Neill upgraded Wells Fargo & Co from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and upped their price target for the stock from $62.04 to $73.00 in a report on Tuesday, January 9th. Morgan Stanley upped their price target on Wells Fargo & Co from $72.00 to $75.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a report on Friday, February 2nd. JPMorgan Chase & Co. cut Wells Fargo & Co from a “neutral” rating to an “underweight” rating in a report on Monday, February 5th. Sanford C. Bernstein upgraded Wells Fargo & Co from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and upped their price target for the stock from $64.00 to $69.00 in a report on Wednesday, January 3rd. Finally, Vertical Group upgraded Wells Fargo & Co from a “sell” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, December 7th. Six research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have given a hold rating and thirteen have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. Wells Fargo & Co presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $62.90.

In related news, insider John R. Shrewsberry sold 70,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, November 30th. The stock was sold at an average price of $56.90, for a total transaction of $3,983,000.00. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, Director Ronald Sargent purchased 9,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, February 12th. The shares were purchased at an average cost of $55.98 per share, for a total transaction of $503,820.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 81 shares in the company, valued at approximately $4,534.38. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders have sold 184,482 shares of company stock worth $10,471,050. Corporate insiders own 0.22% of the company’s stock.

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About Wells Fargo & Co

Wells Fargo & Company is a bank holding company. The Company is a diversified financial services company. It has three operating segments: Community Banking, Wholesale Banking, and Wealth and Investment Management. The Company offers its services under three categories: personal, small business and commercial.

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Wells Fargo & Co (NYSE:WFC)

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