Westpac Banking (WBK) Lifted to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Westpac Banking (NYSE:WBK) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report published on Friday.

According to Zacks, “Westpac Banking Corp. provides a broad range of banking and financial services. The company offers general banking services to retail, commercial, and institutional customers and provides investment management and insurance. For institutional and international clients, Westpac provides working capital loans, trade financing, foreign currency loans, leveraged leasing, project finance loans, and interest rate and currency products. “

Other research analysts have also recently issued reports about the stock. Citigroup upgraded shares of Westpac Banking from a neutral rating to a buy rating in a report on Tuesday, November 6th. Macquarie cut shares of Westpac Banking from an outperform rating to a neutral rating in a report on Friday, August 17th. Finally, Deutsche Bank cut shares of Westpac Banking from a buy rating to a sell rating in a report on Monday, November 26th. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have issued a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average price target of $25.00.

Westpac Banking stock opened at $18.41 on Friday. Westpac Banking has a fifty-two week low of $18.22 and a fifty-two week high of $25.59. The stock has a market cap of $62.59 billion, a P/E ratio of 10.58, a PEG ratio of 5.48 and a beta of 1.24. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.67, a quick ratio of 1.26 and a current ratio of 1.26.

The company also recently declared a special dividend, which will be paid on Monday, December 31st. Investors of record on Tuesday, November 13th will be issued a dividend of $0.6766 per share. This represents a yield of 7.09%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, November 9th. Westpac Banking’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 77.01%.

A number of institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Northern Trust Corp boosted its holdings in Westpac Banking by 6.8% during the second quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 3,137,776 shares of the bank’s stock worth $68,027,000 after purchasing an additional 201,083 shares during the last quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC boosted its stake in Westpac Banking by 5.2% in the third quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 1,261,400 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $25,241,000 after acquiring an additional 62,500 shares during the last quarter. Glenmede Trust Co. NA boosted its stake in Westpac Banking by 1.8% in the third quarter. Glenmede Trust Co. NA now owns 326,769 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $6,538,000 after acquiring an additional 5,882 shares during the last quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN boosted its stake in Westpac Banking by 11.1% in the third quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 309,659 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $6,197,000 after acquiring an additional 30,820 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Crossmark Global Holdings Inc. boosted its stake in Westpac Banking by 17.5% in the third quarter. Crossmark Global Holdings Inc. now owns 281,597 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $5,635,000 after acquiring an additional 41,898 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 0.54% of the company’s stock.

About Westpac Banking

Westpac Banking Corporation provides various banking and financial services in Australia, New Zealand, Asia, the Pacific region, and internationally. It operates through five divisions: Consumer Bank, Business Bank, BT Financial Group, Westpac Institutional Bank, and Westpac New Zealand. It offers everyday banking, savings, term deposit, moving to Australia, under 21 and student, business one, community solutions one, not-for-profit savings, and foreign currency accounts; term and farm management deposits; debit, credit, and travel money cards; home, personal, investment, small business, and commercial loans; and equipment, automotive, cash flow, property, insurance premium, corporate and structured finance, and trade and supply chain financing services.

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