Huntington Bancshares Inc. (NASDAQ:HBAN) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a note issued to investors on Wednesday.

According to Zacks, “Huntington’s profitability growth remains challenged by several issues including escalating costs. Further, the low rate environment has taken a toll on the bank’s net interest margin (NIM) which will continue to remain under pressure if there is no rise in interest rates.  Additionally, the stringent regulations across the finance sector limit the company’s growth opportunities.  However, the company continues to benefit from growing loans and deposits balances. Notably, the acquisition of FirstMerit Corp.  is expected to be accretive to Huntington’s earnings per share next year.”

Other equities analysts have also issued research reports about the company. Nomura reiterated a “hold” rating on shares of Huntington Bancshares in a research note on Saturday, July 9th. Barclays PLC reiterated a “hold” rating on shares of Huntington Bancshares in a research note on Saturday, July 9th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $10.50 target price on shares of Huntington Bancshares in a research note on Thursday, June 9th. FBR & Co raised Huntington Bancshares from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and set a $11.00 price target for the company in a report on Monday, July 11th. Finally, Deutsche Bank AG reissued a “hold” rating and issued a $10.50 price target on shares of Huntington Bancshares in a report on Monday, June 27th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, fourteen have assigned a hold rating, six have issued a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $11.08.

Analyst Recommendations for Huntington Bancshares (NASDAQ:HBAN)

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Huntington Bancshares (NASDAQ:HBAN) traded up 0.21% during midday trading on Wednesday, reaching $9.73. 11,205,704 shares of the company traded hands. The stock has a market capitalization of $7.78 billion, a P/E ratio of 12.47 and a beta of 1.07. The firm has a 50-day moving average of $9.70 and a 200-day moving average of $9.66. Huntington Bancshares has a 1-year low of $7.83 and a 1-year high of $11.87.

Huntington Bancshares (NASDAQ:HBAN) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, July 21st. The company reported $0.19 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.21 by $0.02. Huntington Bancshares had a net margin of 20.85% and a return on equity of 11.07%. During the same period in the previous year, the business posted $0.23 earnings per share. On average, analysts predict that Huntington Bancshares will post $0.82 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, October 3rd. Shareholders of record on Monday, September 19th will be issued a $0.07 dividend. This represents a $0.28 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.88%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, September 15th. Huntington Bancshares’s payout ratio is presently 35.90%.

In other Huntington Bancshares news, EVP David S. Anderson sold 9,006 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, August 29th. The stock was sold at an average price of $9.82, for a total value of $88,438.92. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 110,233 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,082,488.06. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, EVP Nicholas G. Stanutz sold 35,350 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, August 22nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $9.64, for a total value of $340,774.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 434,650 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $4,190,026. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 1.65% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Brown Advisory Securities LLC increased its position in shares of Huntington Bancshares by 2.1% in the second quarter. Brown Advisory Securities LLC now owns 11,106 shares of the company’s stock worth $101,000 after buying an additional 229 shares during the last quarter. Aspiriant LLC bought a new position in shares of Huntington Bancshares during the second quarter worth about $102,000. Aspen Investment Management Inc bought a new position in shares of Huntington Bancshares during the second quarter worth about $102,000. Fishman Jay A Ltd. MI increased its position in shares of Huntington Bancshares by 8.3% in the second quarter. Fishman Jay A Ltd. MI now owns 13,000 shares of the company’s stock worth $116,000 after buying an additional 1,000 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Tredje AP fonden bought a new position in shares of Huntington Bancshares during the second quarter worth about $118,000. 75.73% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

About Huntington Bancshares

Huntington Bancshares Incorporated is a diversified regional bank holding company. Through its subsidiaries, including its bank subsidiary, The Huntington National Bank (the Bank), the Company is engaged in providing commercial, small business, consumer banking services, mortgage banking services, automobile financing, equipment leasing, investment management, trust services, brokerage services, customized insurance programs, and other financial products and services.

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