CIT Group (CIT) Lowered to Sell at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of CIT Group (NYSE:CIT) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report report published on Tuesday, Zacks.com reports.

According to Zacks, “Shares of CIT Group have underperformed the industry over the past six months. The company has a decent earnings surprise history having surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings in two of the trailing four quarters. While the company’s business streamlining initiatives, improving economy, and rise in demand for financing of inventories and capital equipment will continue to support profitability, mounting operating expenses are likely to hurt bottom-line growth to some extent. Also, worsening credit quality remains a major near-term concern for the company as it might hamper financials. Further, earnings estimates have been going down lately ahead of the company's first-quarter 2019 results.”

Several other brokerages also recently weighed in on CIT. UBS Group upgraded CIT Group from a neutral rating to a buy rating in a research note on Wednesday, January 9th. Oppenheimer increased their target price on CIT Group from $61.00 to $63.00 and gave the company an outperform rating in a research note on Tuesday, March 26th. ValuEngine upgraded CIT Group from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note on Saturday. Finally, TheStreet upgraded CIT Group from a c+ rating to a b rating in a research note on Monday, March 25th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have given a hold rating and four have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has an average rating of Hold and an average price target of $53.29.

Shares of NYSE:CIT opened at $51.10 on Tuesday. CIT Group has a twelve month low of $35.50 and a twelve month high of $55.78. The company has a market cap of $4.96 billion, a P/E ratio of 12.65, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.04 and a beta of 1.47. The company has a quick ratio of 1.04, a current ratio of 1.04 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.44.

CIT Group (NYSE:CIT) last announced its earnings results on Tuesday, January 29th. The financial services provider reported $1.21 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.10 by $0.11. CIT Group had a return on equity of 7.80% and a net margin of 13.66%. The firm had revenue of $421.00 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $507.00 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $0.99 EPS. On average, equities research analysts forecast that CIT Group will post 4.84 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In other CIT Group news, insider Matthew Galligan sold 997 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, March 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $48.65, for a total value of $48,504.05. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 30,575 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,487,473.75. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, EVP Edward K. Sperling sold 2,224 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, March 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $50.16, for a total value of $111,555.84. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now owns 10,336 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $518,453.76. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 10,896 shares of company stock valued at $552,081 in the last quarter. Corporate insiders own 0.27% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the business. Norges Bank acquired a new position in shares of CIT Group in the 4th quarter worth approximately $79,790,000. New Mountain Vantage Advisers L.L.C. raised its holdings in shares of CIT Group by 79.6% in the 4th quarter. New Mountain Vantage Advisers L.L.C. now owns 3,732,784 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $142,854,000 after buying an additional 1,653,858 shares in the last quarter. Lakewood Capital Management LP raised its holdings in shares of CIT Group by 101.7% in the 4th quarter. Lakewood Capital Management LP now owns 2,409,870 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $92,226,000 after buying an additional 1,215,000 shares in the last quarter. Northern Trust Corp raised its holdings in shares of CIT Group by 77.0% in the 4th quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 1,618,737 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $61,948,000 after buying an additional 704,217 shares in the last quarter. Finally, LSV Asset Management raised its holdings in shares of CIT Group by 10.2% in the 4th quarter. LSV Asset Management now owns 4,161,890 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $159,275,000 after buying an additional 385,674 shares in the last quarter.

About CIT Group

CIT Group Inc operates as the holding company for CIT Bank, N.A. that provides banking and related services to commercial and individual customers. The company operates through Commercial Banking and Consumer Banking segments. The Commercial Banking segment offers lending, leasing, and other financial and advisory services primarily to small and middle-market companies; factoring, receivables management products, and secured supply chain financing; equipment leasing and secured financing to railroads and non-rail companies; equipment financing to small businesses.

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