Bank of America Corp (BAC) Upgraded to “Buy” at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note released on Tuesday. The brokerage currently has $28.00 price target on the financial services provider’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Bank of America’s shares significantly outperformed the Zacks categorized Major Regional Banks industry, over the last six months. The company raised its prime lending rate following the latest Fed rate hike. Thus, margins should improve further, which along with rise in loan demand should drive revenues up. Also, the company is expected to continue benefiting from improved trading environment and rise in loan demand. While fee income growth concerns continue to be major near-term concern, the company's efforts to streamline and simplify operations continue to enhance efficiency and strengthen its balance sheet.”

Other analysts also recently issued reports about the stock. Erste Group upgraded shares of Bank of America Corp from a sell rating to a buy rating in a report on Thursday, January 5th. Atlantic Securities restated a buy rating on shares of Bank of America Corp in a report on Wednesday, January 11th. Sanford C. Bernstein restated a buy rating and issued a $17.00 target price on shares of Bank of America Corp in a report on Wednesday, January 11th. Citigroup Inc restated a buy rating and issued a $26.00 target price (up from $19.00) on shares of Bank of America Corp in a report on Wednesday, January 11th. Finally, CLSA restated a buy rating and issued a $25.00 target price on shares of Bank of America Corp in a report on Wednesday, January 11th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have issued a hold rating, twenty-eight have issued a buy rating and two have given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has an average rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $21.75.

Analyst Recommendations for Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC)

Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC) traded down 1.43% during trading on Tuesday, reaching $22.79. 64,034,163 shares of the company were exchanged. Bank of America Corp has a 1-year low of $12.05 and a 1-year high of $25.80. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $24.34 and its 200-day moving average price is $20.60. The stock has a market capitalization of $239.67 billion, a P/E ratio of 15.22 and a beta of 1.47.

Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC) last posted its earnings results on Friday, January 13th. The financial services provider reported $0.40 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.38 by $0.02. Bank of America Corp had a net margin of 18.10% and a return on equity of 6.85%. The firm had revenue of $20 billion for the quarter. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $0.27 earnings per share. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 2.1% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities analysts forecast that Bank of America Corp will post $1.74 EPS for the current year.

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The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, March 31st. Investors of record on Friday, March 3rd will be paid a dividend of $0.075 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, March 1st. This represents a $0.30 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.30%. Bank of America Corp’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 21.74%.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Empirical Finance LLC purchased a new position in Bank of America Corp during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $103,000. Tortoise Investment Management LLC raised its position in Bank of America Corp by 27.0% in the fourth quarter. Tortoise Investment Management LLC now owns 4,700 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $104,000 after buying an additional 1,000 shares during the period. Proficio Capital Partners LLC raised its position in Bank of America Corp by 5.7% in the third quarter. Proficio Capital Partners LLC now owns 6,457 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $101,000 after buying an additional 346 shares during the period. Zions Bancorporation raised its position in Bank of America Corp by 11.6% in the fourth quarter. Zions Bancorporation now owns 6,756 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $150,000 after buying an additional 702 shares during the period. Finally, JJJ Advisors Inc. purchased a new position in Bank of America Corp during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $154,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 63.95% of the company’s stock.

Bank of America Corp Company Profile

Bank of America Corporation is a bank holding company and a financial holding company. The Company is a financial institution, serving individual consumers and others with a range of banking, investing, asset management and other financial and risk management products and services. The Company, through its banking and various non-bank subsidiaries, throughout the United States and in international markets, provides a range of banking and non-bank financial services and products through four business segments: Consumer Banking, which comprises Deposits and Consumer Lending; Global Wealth & Investment Management, which consists of two primary businesses: Merrill Lynch Global Wealth Management and U.S.

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