Zacks Investment Research Lowers Wells Fargo & Co (WFC) to Hold

Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Wells Fargo & Co (NYSE:WFC) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report published on Tuesday, February 13th.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Wells Fargo underperformed the industry over the last six months. Yet, the company has a decent earnings surprise history. The company surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings in two out of the trailing four quarters. Wells Fargo’s fourth-quarter 2017 earnings improved from the prior-year quarter. Notably, results recorded tax benefit related to the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act. Recently, Wells Fargo has been slapped with new sanctions including a cap on the assets position for the past misconducts by the Federal Reserve. Moreover, Moody’s has downgraded the rating outlook of the bank to negative, though S&P has kept unchanged at stable. While the current crisis related to the revelation of illegally opening millions of illegal accounts in 2016 at the company will take some time to alleviate, we believe consistent growth in loans and deposits, lower tax rate and expansions will likely support its growth profile.”

Other analysts also recently issued reports about the company. Vetr upgraded Wells Fargo & Co from a sell rating to a hold rating and set a $54.49 target price for the company in a research note on Tuesday, October 24th. UBS Group set a $63.00 price target on Wells Fargo & Co and gave the company a hold rating in a research note on Monday, February 5th. Vertical Group upgraded Wells Fargo & Co from a sell rating to a buy rating in a research note on Thursday, December 7th. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods downgraded Wells Fargo & Co from an outperform rating to a market perform rating and set a $63.00 price target for the company. in a research note on Sunday, February 4th. Finally, BMO Capital Markets restated a hold rating and issued a $60.00 target price on shares of Wells Fargo & Co in a research note on Monday, February 5th. Six research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have assigned a hold rating and thirteen have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. Wells Fargo & Co presently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average price target of $62.90.

Shares of Wells Fargo & Co (WFC) traded up $0.10 during trading hours on Tuesday, reaching $59.83. The company had a trading volume of 2,370,064 shares, compared to its average volume of 24,281,064. Wells Fargo & Co has a twelve month low of $49.27 and a twelve month high of $66.31. 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 company has a market cap of $294,130.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 17.42, a P/E/G ratio of 1.57 and a beta of 1.01.

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

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, March 1st. Stockholders of record on Friday, February 2nd will be paid a dividend of $0.39 per share. This represents a $1.56 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.61%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, February 1st. Wells Fargo & Co’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 45.22%.

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

In related news, Director Ronald Sargent purchased 9,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, February 12th. The stock was bought at an average cost of $55.98 per share, with a total value of $503,820.00. Following the completion of the purchase, the director now directly owns 81 shares in the company, valued at $4,534.38. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, VP Richard Levy sold 97,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Thursday, November 30th. The stock was sold at an average price of $56.47, for a total transaction of $5,477,590.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders have sold 184,482 shares of company stock valued at $10,471,050. Insiders own 0.22% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in WFC. Vanguard Group Inc. grew its holdings in shares of Wells Fargo & Co by 1.2% during the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 314,755,460 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $17,440,601,000 after buying an additional 3,621,402 shares during the last quarter. Capital World Investors grew its holdings in shares of Wells Fargo & Co by 10.8% during the second quarter. Capital World Investors now owns 111,753,448 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $6,192,259,000 after buying an additional 10,927,679 shares during the last quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC grew its holdings in shares of Wells Fargo & Co by 1.3% during the fourth quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 46,311,774 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $2,803,705,000 after buying an additional 584,764 shares during the last quarter. Capital Research Global Investors grew its holdings in shares of Wells Fargo & Co by 19.7% during the second quarter. Capital Research Global Investors now owns 45,327,803 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $2,511,614,000 after buying an additional 7,445,414 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Dimensional Fund Advisors LP grew its holdings in shares of Wells Fargo & Co by 17.8% during the third quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 35,143,414 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $1,937,888,000 after buying an additional 5,305,125 shares during the last quarter. 75.69% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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Wells Fargo & Co Company Profile

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.

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