BB&T (BBT) Upgraded at Zacks Investment Research

BB&T (NYSE:BBT) 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. The firm currently has a $54.00 price target on the insurance provider’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s target price would indicate a potential upside of 12.43% from the company’s previous close.

According to Zacks, “Shares of BB&T have outperformed the industry so far this year. The company has an impressive earnings surprise history, having surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate in three and matched in one of the trailing four quarters. Consistent growth in loans and deposits, higher interest rates, focus on non-interest income growth, and inorganic growth strategy will likely continue to support top-line growth. While mounting expenses and significant exposure to risky loans remain major concerns, the company's enhanced capital deployment plan reflects a strong balance sheet position. Also, lower tax rates and easing of stringent regulations will aid profitability.”

A number of other equities research analysts also recently weighed in on BBT. ValuEngine downgraded shares of BB&T from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Tuesday, October 2nd. B. Riley set a $56.00 price target on shares of BB&T and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Monday, October 15th. Finally, BMO Capital Markets cut their price target on shares of BB&T from $58.00 to $57.00 and set an “outperform” rating for the company in a report on Friday, October 19th. Eight research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and fourteen have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $55.44.

NYSE BBT traded down $0.11 on Friday, reaching $48.03. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 171,100 shares, compared to its average volume of 4,442,329. BB&T has a twelve month low of $45.93 and a twelve month high of $56.31. The company has a current ratio of 0.88, a quick ratio of 0.87 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.86. The company has a market capitalization of $37.27 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 15.28, a PEG ratio of 1.13 and a beta of 0.95.

BB&T (NYSE:BBT) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, October 18th. The insurance provider reported $1.01 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.00 by $0.01. BB&T had a net margin of 23.52% and a return on equity of 11.66%. The company had revenue of $2.93 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.93 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $0.74 EPS. BB&T’s revenue was up 1.6% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, research analysts predict that BB&T will post 4.05 earnings per share for the current year.

In other BB&T news, Director I. Patricia Henry sold 611 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, October 31st. The shares were sold at an average price of $49.50, for a total transaction of $30,244.50. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 4,375 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $216,562.50. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, Director Nido R. Qubein sold 2,825 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, November 7th. The shares were sold at an average price of $50.19, for a total transaction of $141,786.75. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.51% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of BBT. Zions Bancorporation acquired a new position in shares of BB&T in the 3rd quarter valued at about $102,000. Girard Partners LTD. acquired a new position in shares of BB&T in the 3rd quarter valued at about $142,000. SRS Capital Advisors Inc. increased its holdings in shares of BB&T by 4,311.8% in the 3rd quarter. SRS Capital Advisors Inc. now owns 3,000 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $146,000 after purchasing an additional 2,932 shares during the period. ClariVest Asset Management LLC acquired a new position in shares of BB&T in the 2nd quarter valued at about $167,000. Finally, Bridgeworth LLC acquired a new position in shares of BB&T in the 2nd quarter valued at about $197,000. Institutional investors own 64.07% of the company’s stock.

BB&T Company Profile

BB&T Corporation operates as a financial holding company that provides various banking and trust services for small and mid-size businesses, public agencies, local governments, and individuals. The company operates through four segments: CB-Retail, CB-Commercial, IH&PF, and FS&CF. Its deposit products include noninterest-bearing checking, interest-bearing checking, savings, and money market deposit accounts, as well as certificates of deposit and individual retirement accounts.

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