Today: Today, SunTrust Banks Inc. (STI) Stock Rating Upgrade by The Zacks Investment Research

Today, SunTrust Banks Inc. (STI) Stock Rating Upgrade by 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 note issued to investors on Friday. The brokerage presently has a $59.00 price target on the financial services provider’s stock. Zacks Investment Research’s price objective indicates a potential upside of 12.68% from the stock’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.”

A number of other equities research analysts also recently weighed in on the stock. Compass Point downgraded shares of SunTrust Banks from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and lifted their price target for the company from $48.00 to $54.00 in a research report on Wednesday. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Robert W. Baird reiterated an “underperform” rating on shares of SunTrust Banks in a research report on Saturday, November 19th. Wells Fargo & Co. downgraded shares of SunTrust Banks from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating in a research report on Friday, November 18th. Standpoint Research downgraded shares of SunTrust Banks from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, November 15th. Finally, Morgan Stanley downgraded shares of SunTrust Banks from an “equal weight” rating to an “underweight” rating and set a $53.00 price objective for the company. in a research report on Monday, November 14th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have issued a hold rating, twelve have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. SunTrust Banks has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $46.13.

SunTrust Banks (NYSE:STI) traded up 0.19% on Friday, hitting $52.46. The stock had a trading volume of 1,414,864 shares. The company has a market capitalization of $26.02 billion, a PE ratio of 14.53 and a beta of 1.36. The company has a 50 day moving average of $47.22 and a 200 day moving average of $43.76. SunTrust Banks has a 12-month low of $31.07 and a 12-month high of $52.65.

SunTrust Banks (NYSE:STI) last released its quarterly earnings results on Friday, October 21st. The financial services provider reported $0.91 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.88 by $0.03. SunTrust Banks had a net margin of 21.12% and a return on equity of 8.18%. The company earned $2.20 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.15 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $1.00 earnings per share. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 8.4% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities analysts expect that SunTrust Banks will post $3.57 earnings per share for the current year.

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

In other news, insider Susan S. Johnson sold 794 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, October 24th. The shares were sold at an average price of $45.58, for a total transaction of $36,190.52. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 1,947 shares in the company, valued at $88,744.26. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, insider Aleem Gillani sold 8,583 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, October 27th. The shares were sold at an average price of $45.90, for a total transaction of $393,959.70. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 239,652 shares in the company, valued at approximately $11,000,026.80. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 0.67% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in STI. Piedmont Investment Advisors LLC bought a new position in shares of SunTrust Banks during the third quarter valued at $2,205,000. Credit Suisse AG raised its position in shares of SunTrust Banks by 151.1% in the third quarter. Credit Suisse AG now owns 3,446,948 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $150,976,000 after buying an additional 2,074,075 shares in the last quarter. Ameritas Investment Partners Inc. raised its position in shares of SunTrust Banks by 21.0% in the third quarter. Ameritas Investment Partners Inc. now owns 11,987 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $525,000 after buying an additional 2,080 shares in the last quarter. Lombard Odier Asset Management Europe Ltd bought a new position in shares of SunTrust Banks during the third quarter valued at $370,000. Finally, Cetera Advisor Networks LLC raised its position in shares of SunTrust Banks by 70.3% in the third quarter. Cetera Advisor Networks LLC now owns 11,851 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $519,000 after buying an additional 4,892 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other 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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