Fifth Third Bancorp (NASDAQ:FITB) Cut to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Fifth Third Bancorp (NASDAQ:FITB) from a strong-buy rating to a hold rating in a report issued on Friday, January 12th.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Fifth Third have outperformed the industry over the past six months. The performance was supported by the company’s decent earnings surprise history. It surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings in two of the trailing four quarters. The company’s ongoing strategic efforts, such as Project North Star, will likely boost its efficiency and revenue over the long run. Also, margin pressure seems to be easing gradually, given the Fed interest rate hikes and improving economic backdrop. However, elevated expenses on the company’s branch digitization initiative and legal issues remain a concern.”

Other equities analysts also recently issued research reports about the company. Royal Bank of Canada reiterated a buy rating on shares of Fifth Third Bancorp in a report on Sunday, December 10th. BidaskClub upgraded Fifth Third Bancorp from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report on Friday, December 22nd. Morgan Stanley upped their target price on Fifth Third Bancorp from $30.00 to $34.00 and gave the stock an equal weight rating in a report on Wednesday, December 13th. Barclays upped their target price on Fifth Third Bancorp from $31.00 to $35.00 and gave the stock an equal weight rating in a report on Tuesday, January 2nd. Finally, BMO Capital Markets reiterated a hold rating and issued a $29.00 target price on shares of Fifth Third Bancorp in a report on Thursday, October 5th. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eighteen have assigned a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the stock. Fifth Third Bancorp has an average rating of Hold and an average price target of $29.33.

Fifth Third Bancorp (NASDAQ:FITB) traded up $0.33 during midday trading on Friday, reaching $32.50. The company had a trading volume of 5,417,300 shares, compared to its average volume of 5,452,992. The company has a current ratio of 0.89, a quick ratio of 0.89 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.93. Fifth Third Bancorp has a one year low of $23.20 and a one year high of $32.69. The stock has a market cap of $22,931.39, a PE ratio of 12.17, a PEG ratio of 2.22 and a beta of 1.35.

Fifth Third Bancorp (NASDAQ:FITB) last released its earnings results on Tuesday, October 24th. The financial services provider reported $0.48 earnings per share for the quarter, meeting the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.48. The firm had revenue of $1.54 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.55 billion. Fifth Third Bancorp had a return on equity of 9.58% and a net margin of 25.81%. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $0.65 EPS. sell-side analysts predict that Fifth Third Bancorp will post 1.78 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, January 16th. Stockholders of record on Friday, December 29th were issued a $0.16 dividend. This represents a $0.64 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.97%. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, December 28th. Fifth Third Bancorp’s dividend payout ratio is presently 23.97%.

In other news, EVP Timothy Spence sold 15,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Thursday, October 26th. The stock was sold at an average price of $28.86, for a total value of $432,900.00. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 154,577 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $4,461,092.22. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. 0.38% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Horan Capital Advisors LLC. acquired a new stake in Fifth Third Bancorp during the third quarter worth about $102,000. Valeo Financial Advisors LLC acquired a new stake in Fifth Third Bancorp during the third quarter worth about $119,000. Sun Life Financial INC grew its holdings in Fifth Third Bancorp by 55,050.0% during the second quarter. Sun Life Financial INC now owns 5,515 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $143,000 after acquiring an additional 5,505 shares during the period. Benjamin F. Edwards & Company Inc. grew its holdings in Fifth Third Bancorp by 268.9% during the fourth quarter. Benjamin F. Edwards & Company Inc. now owns 6,456 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $196,000 after acquiring an additional 4,706 shares during the period. Finally, HighPoint Advisor Group LLC acquired a new stake in Fifth Third Bancorp during the third quarter worth about $202,000. 84.04% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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Fifth Third Bancorp Company Profile

Fifth Third Bancorp is a bank holding company and a financial holding company. The Company conducts its principal lending, deposit gathering, transaction processing and service advisory activities through its banking and non-banking subsidiaries from banking centers located throughout the Midwestern and Southeastern regions of the United States.

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