Today: Today, SunTrust Banks Inc. (STI) Rating Increased to Buy at The Zacks Investment Research

Today, SunTrust Banks Inc. (STI) Rating Increased to Buy at The Zacks Investment Research

SunTrust Banks Inc. (NYSE:STI) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report released on Friday. The brokerage currently has a $59.00 price target on the financial services provider’s stock. Zacks Investment Research’s target price suggests a potential upside of 12.68% from the company’s current price.

According to Zacks, “SunTrust shares have outperformed the Zacks categorized Major Regional Banks industry over the last three months. Its initiatives to enhance revenues through growth in loan and deposit balances are impressive. In Oct 2016, the company announced a deal to buy Pillar Financial, which is likely to improve Wholesale Banking segment revenue by $90 million in 2017. Also, the gradually stabilizing energy sector will aid the company’s credit quality in the near term. However, continued pressure on margin in absence of notable rate hike, significant exposure to risky loan portfolios and stringent regulatory requirements are major cause of concerns.”

Several other analysts have also issued reports on STI. Robert W. Baird reiterated an “underperform” rating on shares of SunTrust Banks in a report on Thursday, August 4th. Sanford C. Bernstein downgraded SunTrust Banks from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating and set a $43.00 price target on the stock. in a research report on Tuesday, August 16th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Deutsche Bank AG reissued a “buy” rating and set a $43.00 price target on shares of SunTrust Banks in a research report on Thursday, August 18th. boosted their price target on SunTrust Banks from $52.00 to $54.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, September 23rd. Finally, Wedbush initiated coverage on SunTrust Banks in a research report on Thursday, October 6th. They set a “neutral” rating and a $47.00 price target on the stock. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have assigned a hold rating, twelve have given a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $46.13.

SunTrust Banks (NYSE:STI) traded up 0.19% during trading on Friday, hitting $52.46. The company had a trading volume of 1,396,264 shares. The stock has a 50-day moving average of $47.22 and a 200 day moving average of $43.76. SunTrust Banks has a one year low of $31.07 and a one year high of $52.65. The company has a market capitalization of $26.02 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 14.53 and a beta of 1.36.

SunTrust Banks (NYSE:STI) last released its earnings results on Friday, October 21st. The financial services provider reported $0.91 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.88 by $0.03. SunTrust Banks had a return on equity of 8.18% and a net margin of 21.12%. The business had revenue of $2.20 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.15 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $1.00 earnings per share. SunTrust Banks’s revenue was up 8.4% on a year-over-year basis. Equities analysts forecast that SunTrust Banks will post $3.57 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, December 15th. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, November 30th will be paid a $0.26 dividend. This represents a $1.04 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.99%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, November 28th. SunTrust Banks’s payout ratio is 28.89%.

In other news, insider Anil T. Cheriyan sold 8,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Tuesday, November 22nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $52.15, for a total value of $417,200.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 81,203 shares in the company, valued at approximately $4,234,736.45. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, insider Susan S. Johnson sold 794 shares of the stock in a transaction on Monday, October 24th. The shares were sold at an average price of $45.58, for a total value of $36,190.52. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 1,947 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $88,744.26. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.67% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Global X Management Co. LLC raised its position in shares of SunTrust Banks by 121.2% in the third quarter. Global X Management Co. LLC now owns 2,787 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $122,000 after buying an additional 1,527 shares in the last quarter. AXA bought a new position in shares of SunTrust Banks during the second quarter valued at about $127,000. TLP Group LLC bought a new position in shares of SunTrust Banks during the third quarter valued at about $128,000. Amica Retiree Medical Trust bought a new position in shares of SunTrust Banks during the second quarter valued at about $129,000. Finally, MSI Financial Services Inc raised its position in shares of SunTrust Banks by 66.2% in the third quarter. MSI Financial Services Inc now owns 3,010 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $132,000 after buying an additional 1,199 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 83.93% 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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