SunTrust Banks Inc. (NYSE:STI) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued on Monday.
According to Zacks, “SunTrust’s cost saving strategies has borne positive results as it continues to witness a downward trend in expenses. Further, the company remains well positioned for future growth given its improving credit quality. Also, the gradually stabilizing energy sector as well as economic recovery will aid the company’s credit quality. Moreover, the company's steady capital deployment activities enhance shareholder value. However, a persistent low interest rate scenario continues to put margins under pressure. Also, exposure to risky assets and increasing dependence on residential and commercial loan portfolio is expected to weigh on the company’s profitability in the near term.”
STI has been the subject of several other reports. Wells Fargo & Co. reissued a “buy” rating on shares of SunTrust Banks in a research report on Sunday, July 10th. Robert W. Baird reissued an “underperform” rating on shares of SunTrust Banks in a research report on Thursday, August 4th. BMO Capital Markets reissued a “hold” rating and issued a $44.00 price objective on shares of SunTrust Banks in a research report on Thursday, July 7th. Barclays PLC reissued an “equal weight” rating and issued a $46.00 price objective on shares of SunTrust Banks in a research report on Sunday, July 10th. Finally, Sanford C. Bernstein cut shares of SunTrust Banks from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating and set a $43.00 price objective for the company. in a research report on Tuesday, August 16th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have issued a hold rating, thirteen have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock. SunTrust Banks presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $44.45.
Shares of SunTrust Banks (NYSE:STI) opened at 43.33 on Monday. SunTrust Banks has a 12 month low of $31.07 and a 12 month high of $45.24. The company has a market cap of $21.72 billion, a P/E ratio of 11.73 and a beta of 1.31. The company’s 50 day moving average is $43.26 and its 200 day moving average is $41.33.
SunTrust Banks (NYSE:STI) last released its quarterly earnings data on Friday, July 22nd. The financial services provider reported $0.94 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.88 by $0.06. The company earned $2.19 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.14 billion. SunTrust Banks had a net margin of 22.31% and a return on equity of 8.53%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 6.9% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the company earned $0.89 EPS. On average, equities research analysts predict that SunTrust Banks will post $3.51 EPS for the current fiscal year.
The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, September 15th. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, August 31st were paid a $0.26 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Monday, August 29th. This represents a $1.04 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.40%. This is a positive change from SunTrust Banks’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.24. SunTrust Banks’s dividend payout ratio is presently 28.18%.
In other news, insider Susan S. Johnson sold 1,118 shares of the stock in a transaction on Tuesday, July 26th. The shares were sold at an average price of $42.40, for a total value of $47,403.20. Following the sale, the insider now owns 1,119 shares in the company, valued at $47,445.60. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. 0.67% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.
Hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. American Century Companies Inc. raised its stake in SunTrust Banks by 64.4% in the second quarter. American Century Companies Inc. now owns 8,267,226 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $339,618,000 after buying an additional 3,238,624 shares during the last quarter. Investec Asset Management LTD acquired a new stake in SunTrust Banks during the first quarter worth $86,734,000. FMR LLC raised its stake in SunTrust Banks by 6.5% in the second quarter. FMR LLC now owns 31,288,755 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $1,285,342,000 after buying an additional 1,918,166 shares during the last quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp raised its stake in SunTrust Banks by 28.4% in the second quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 7,066,156 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $290,278,000 after buying an additional 1,564,929 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Bank of Montreal Can acquired a new stake in SunTrust Banks during the second quarter worth $55,797,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 82.37% of the company’s stock.
About SunTrust Banks
SunTrust Banks, Inc is a bank holding company and a financial holding company. Through its principal subsidiary, SunTrust Bank, the Company offers a line of financial services for consumers and businesses, including deposit, credit, mortgage banking, and trust and investment services. The Company’s other subsidiaries provide asset and wealth management, securities brokerage, and capital market services.
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