Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of SunTrust Banks (NYSE:STI) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note issued to investors on Wednesday. They currently have $80.00 price objective on the financial services provider’s stock.
According to Zacks, “SunTrust’s shares have significantly 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 will continue to support the company’s profitability. While slowdown in mortgage business is expected to hurt top-line growth, improving asset quality and lower tax rates will aid the company's financials in the quarters ahead. Further, robust capital deployment activities reflect strong balance sheet position.”
Several other equities analysts also recently commented on the stock. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods upgraded shares of SunTrust Banks from a market perform rating to an outperform rating in a report on Tuesday, December 12th. Wedbush downgraded shares of SunTrust Banks from an outperform rating to a neutral rating and decreased their price objective 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. UBS upgraded shares of SunTrust Banks from a neutral rating to a buy rating and upped their price objective for the company from $62.00 to $73.00 in a report on Tuesday, December 12th. Morgan Stanley upgraded shares of SunTrust Banks from an equal weight rating to an overweight rating and set a $68.00 price objective on the stock in a report on Monday, January 8th. Finally, Barclays upped their price objective on shares of SunTrust Banks from $68.00 to $77.00 and gave the company an equal weight rating in a report on Tuesday, January 2nd. Fifteen equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and twelve have given a buy rating to the company. The company currently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average price target of $69.61.
STI stock opened at $70.24 on Wednesday. The firm has a market cap of $33,094.77, a price-to-earnings ratio of 15.82, a P/E/G ratio of 1.12 and a beta of 1.33. SunTrust Banks has a fifty-two week low of $51.96 and a fifty-two week high of $73.37. The company has a current ratio of 0.93, a quick ratio of 0.92 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.43.
SunTrust Banks (NYSE:STI) last issued its earnings results on Friday, January 19th. The financial services provider reported $1.09 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.05 by $0.04. The business had revenue of $2.27 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.32 billion. SunTrust Banks had a net margin of 23.35% and a return on equity of 9.18%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 5.1% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the company earned $0.90 earnings per share. analysts anticipate that SunTrust Banks will post 5.03 EPS for the current year.
The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, March 15th. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, February 28th were given a $0.40 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Tuesday, February 27th. This represents a $1.60 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.28%. SunTrust Banks’s payout ratio is presently 35.71%.
In other news, insider Susan S. Johnson sold 3,600 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, February 20th. The shares were sold at an average price of $71.04, for a total value of $255,744.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 8,857 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $629,201.28. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, EVP Jerome T. Lienhard sold 29,248 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, January 23rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $17.37, for a total transaction of $508,037.76. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders sold 40,348 shares of company stock valued at $1,289,757. 0.52% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.
Several institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in STI. Exencial Wealth Advisors LLC lifted its position in SunTrust Banks by 4.4% during the fourth quarter. Exencial Wealth Advisors LLC now owns 72,645 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $4,692,000 after purchasing an additional 3,068 shares during the period. Copper Rock Capital Partners LLC lifted its position in SunTrust Banks by 48.4% during the fourth quarter. Copper Rock Capital Partners LLC now owns 135,293 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $8,854,000 after purchasing an additional 44,110 shares during the period. Parkside Financial Bank & Trust lifted its position in SunTrust Banks by 1,017.5% during the fourth quarter. Parkside Financial Bank & Trust now owns 3,710 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $240,000 after purchasing an additional 3,378 shares during the period. California Public Employees Retirement System lifted its position in SunTrust Banks by 2.2% during the third quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 1,547,495 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $92,494,000 after purchasing an additional 33,395 shares during the period. Finally, WealthTrust Axiom LLC bought a new stake in SunTrust Banks during the fourth quarter worth about $202,000. 83.59% 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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