Todays Report: Today, Citizens Financial Group Inc. (CFG) Upgrade to “Buy” at The Zacks Investment Research

Today, Citizens Financial Group Inc. (CFG) Upgrade to “Buy” at The Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Citizens Financial Group Inc. (NYSE:CFG) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report published on Monday morning. They currently have $36.00 price objective on the stock.

According to Zacks, “Citizens Financial’s third-quarter 2016 earnings surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimates on higher revenues. However, rising expenses and provisions remained headwinds. The company remains on track to implement TOP II and TOP III efficiency initiatives which are expected to boost performance. Notably, its TOP II efficiency initiatives are expected to result in a pre-tax benefit of $95–$100 million in 2016. Also, the company continues to benefit from improving loans and deposit balances and is well positioned to grow further as the U.S. economy is gaining traction. However, margin pressure amid low interest rate environment, higher costs resulting from pending legal hassles and a stricter regulatory landscape across the finance sector continues to be major concerns for Citizens Financial.”

CFG has been the subject of a number of other reports. TheStreet upgraded shares of Citizens Financial Group from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note on Friday, September 23rd. Citigroup Inc. cut shares of Citizens Financial Group from an outperform rating to a market perform rating in a research note on Tuesday, November 15th. Oppenheimer Holdings Inc. reiterated a market perform rating on shares of Citizens Financial Group in a research note on Tuesday, November 15th. Deutsche Bank AG cut shares of Citizens Financial Group from a buy rating to a hold rating and set a $27.00 target price for the company. in a research note on Tuesday, November 8th. Finally, Wedbush reiterated a neutral rating and set a $31.00 target price (up from $30.00) on shares of Citizens Financial Group in a research note on Thursday, November 17th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Ten equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and six have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has an average rating of Hold and an average price target of $29.21.

Citizens Financial Group (NYSE:CFG) opened at 32.40 on Monday. Citizens Financial Group has a 12-month low of $18.04 and a 12-month high of $32.63. The firm has a market capitalization of $16.79 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 17.61 and a beta of 1.10. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $27.43 and a 200 day moving average of $23.91.

Citizens Financial Group (NYSE:CFG) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Friday, October 21st. The company reported $0.52 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.49 by $0.03. Citizens Financial Group had a net margin of 17.53% and a return on equity of 4.88%. The business earned $1.38 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.31 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the company earned $0.40 earnings per share. Citizens Financial Group’s revenue for the quarter was up 14.1% on a year-over-year basis. Equities research analysts anticipate that Citizens Financial Group will post $1.93 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, November 16th. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, November 2nd were issued a $0.12 dividend. This represents a $0.48 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.48%. The ex-dividend date was Monday, October 31st. Citizens Financial Group’s payout ratio is 25.95%.

Several large investors have recently bought and sold shares of CFG. State Street Corp raised its stake in shares of Citizens Financial Group by 7.3% in the second quarter. State Street Corp now owns 25,612,033 shares of the company’s stock worth $511,744,000 after buying an additional 1,742,434 shares in the last quarter. Hotchkis & Wiley Capital Management LLC raised its stake in shares of Citizens Financial Group by 2.6% in the second quarter. Hotchkis & Wiley Capital Management LLC now owns 21,946,583 shares of the company’s stock worth $438,493,000 after buying an additional 565,866 shares in the last quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. raised its stake in shares of Citizens Financial Group by 13.5% in the second quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 21,756,438 shares of the company’s stock worth $434,694,000 after buying an additional 2,594,312 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. raised its stake in shares of Citizens Financial Group by 9.9% in the third quarter. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. now owns 18,033,151 shares of the company’s stock worth $445,599,000 after buying an additional 1,631,468 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Lord Abbett & CO. LLC raised its stake in shares of Citizens Financial Group by 4.8% in the second quarter. Lord Abbett & CO. LLC now owns 11,471,620 shares of the company’s stock worth $229,203,000 after buying an additional 528,729 shares in the last quarter. 96.20% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Citizens Financial Group

Citizens Financial Group, Inc is a retail bank holding company in the United States. The Company offers a range of retail and commercial banking products and services to individuals, institutions and companies. The Company operates in two segments: Consumer Banking and Commercial Banking. The Company’s Consumer Banking serves retail customers and small businesses.

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