Huntington Bancshares (HBAN) Cut to “Hold” at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Huntington Bancshares (NASDAQ:HBAN) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report released on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Huntington have outperformed the industry over the past three months. The company possesses a decent earnings surprise history, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate in one of the trailing four quarters, and in-line results in the remaining three. Consistent rise in cost base continues to deter bottom-line growth. Also, unsustainable capital-deployment activities keep us apprehensive. However, with the Fed rate hikes, margin pressure for the company seems to be easing. Moreover, rising loans and deposits, along with improved credit quality are tailwinds. Also, the company's strong liquidity position keeps it well poised to expand through strategic initiatives, which will support profitability over the long run.”

A number of other analysts have also recently weighed in on the stock. Vining Sparks reissued a buy rating and set a $19.00 price objective on shares of Huntington Bancshares in a report on Tuesday. BidaskClub raised shares of Huntington Bancshares from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report on Monday, October 8th. Morgan Stanley reissued a hold rating and set a $17.50 price objective (down previously from $17.75) on shares of Huntington Bancshares in a report on Tuesday, September 18th. Jefferies Financial Group raised their price objective on shares of Huntington Bancshares from $17.00 to $18.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a report on Wednesday, August 8th. Finally, Piper Jaffray Companies reissued a buy rating and set a $16.50 price objective on shares of Huntington Bancshares in a report on Thursday, July 26th. Twelve equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eight have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $17.25.

HBAN stock opened at $14.37 on Tuesday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.95, a quick ratio of 0.90 and a current ratio of 0.90. Huntington Bancshares has a twelve month low of $13.04 and a twelve month high of $16.60. The company has a market cap of $16.48 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 14.66, a P/E/G ratio of 0.82 and a beta of 1.35.

Huntington Bancshares (NASDAQ:HBAN) last released its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, July 25th. The bank reported $0.30 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.29 by $0.01. Huntington Bancshares had a net margin of 27.90% and a return on equity of 12.93%. The company had revenue of $1.12 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.13 billion. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $0.26 earnings per share. As a group, analysts predict that Huntington Bancshares will post 1.24 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, October 1st. Stockholders of record on Monday, September 17th were issued a $0.14 dividend. This represents a $0.56 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.90%. This is a boost from Huntington Bancshares’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.11. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, September 14th. Huntington Bancshares’s payout ratio is presently 57.14%.

In related news, CFO Howell D. Mccullough III sold 68,777 shares of Huntington Bancshares stock in a transaction on Friday, August 24th. The shares were sold at an average price of $16.17, for a total value of $1,112,124.09. Following the transaction, the chief financial officer now directly owns 720,413 shares in the company, valued at approximately $11,649,078.21. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, EVP Richard Remiker sold 5,254 shares of Huntington Bancshares stock in a transaction on Monday, July 30th. The shares were sold at an average price of $15.55, for a total transaction of $81,699.70. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 321,462 shares in the company, valued at $4,998,734.10. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 1.05% of the company’s stock.

A number of large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Boston Partners grew its position in Huntington Bancshares by 2.2% in the 2nd quarter. Boston Partners now owns 30,774,781 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $454,236,000 after buying an additional 648,176 shares during the last quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP grew its position in Huntington Bancshares by 3.0% in the 2nd quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 12,392,637 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $182,931,000 after buying an additional 363,049 shares during the last quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp grew its position in Huntington Bancshares by 0.7% in the 2nd quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 8,572,871 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $126,536,000 after buying an additional 61,039 shares during the last quarter. Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA grew its position in Huntington Bancshares by 0.4% in the 2nd quarter. Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA now owns 6,986,065 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $103,114,000 after buying an additional 27,184 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Millennium Management LLC grew its position in Huntington Bancshares by 24.7% in the 1st quarter. Millennium Management LLC now owns 6,138,415 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $92,690,000 after buying an additional 1,214,418 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 73.79% of the company’s stock.

Huntington Bancshares Company Profile

Huntington Bancshares Incorporated operates as a holding company for The Huntington National Bank that provides commercial, small business, consumer, and mortgage banking services. The company's Consumer and Business Banking segment offers financial products and services, such as checking accounts, savings accounts, money market accounts, certificates of deposit, consumer loans, and small business loans; and investments, mortgages, insurance, interest rate risk protection, and foreign exchange and treasury management services.

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