Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE:WFC) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a note issued to investors on Monday.

According to Zacks, “Wells Fargo’s shares underperformed the Zacks categorized Regional Banks-Major industry year to date. Elevated expenses and lower non-interest income remain concerns. Troubles have intensified following the bank’s $190-million settlement last year to resolve regulators’ claims of illegally opening millions of illegal accounts. While the current crisis at the company will take some time to alleviate, we believe that continued growth in loans and deposits and expansions should support its growth profile. Additionally, the company plans $4 billion of cost cuts by 2019. Moreover, recently approved the Financial Choice Act to eradicate a number of core financial regulations will act as a tailwind for the company in coming quarters. Notably, Wells Fargo hiked the prime lending rate to 4.25%, following the recent Fed rate hike.”

A number of other research firms also recently commented on WFC. Credit Suisse Group restated a “hold” rating and issued a $56.00 price objective on shares of Wells Fargo & Company in a report on Friday, March 3rd. Vetr upgraded Wells Fargo & Company from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $55.28 price objective on the stock in a report on Tuesday, March 21st. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods upgraded Wells Fargo & Company from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and raised their price objective for the stock from $53.00 to $63.00 in a report on Wednesday, April 5th. Jefferies Group LLC restated a “hold” rating and issued a $62.00 price objective on shares of Wells Fargo & Company in a report on Wednesday, April 5th. Finally, Piper Jaffray Companies upgraded Wells Fargo & Company from an “underweight” rating to a “neutral” rating and raised their price objective for the stock from $54.84 to $55.00 in a report on Monday, April 10th. Seven equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have issued a hold rating, sixteen have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Wells Fargo & Company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $55.37.

Analyst Recommendations for Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE:WFC)

Shares of Wells Fargo & Company (WFC) traded up 0.696% during mid-day trading on Monday, hitting $54.265. The company had a trading volume of 11,378,732 shares. Wells Fargo & Company has a 12 month low of $43.55 and a 12 month high of $59.99. The firm has a 50-day moving average of $53.38 and a 200-day moving average of $55.27. The company has a market cap of $271.18 billion, a PE ratio of 13.566 and a beta of 0.97.

Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE:WFC) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, April 13th. The financial services provider reported $1.00 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.97 by $0.03. The company had revenue of $22 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $22.25 billion. Wells Fargo & Company had a return on equity of 12.56% and a net margin of 23.18%. The company’s quarterly revenue was down .9% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the business posted $0.99 EPS. On average, analysts expect that Wells Fargo & Company will post $4.15 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, June 1st. Investors of record on Friday, May 5th were issued a $0.38 dividend. This represents a $1.52 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.79%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, May 3rd. Wells Fargo & Company’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 38.00%.

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In related news, insider David M. Carroll sold 27,582 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, June 9th. The stock was sold at an average price of $53.28, for a total value of $1,469,568.96. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, insider Avid Modjtabai sold 100,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, April 28th. The stock was sold at an average price of $54.21, for a total value of $5,421,000.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders purchased 106,392 shares of company stock worth $5,526,822 and sold 231,278 shares worth $12,361,120. Company insiders own 0.22% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in WFC. Smith Asset Management Group LP increased its stake in shares of Wells Fargo & Company by 4.0% in the first quarter. Smith Asset Management Group LP now owns 1,820 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $101,000 after buying an additional 70 shares during the period. Trent Capital Management Inc. NC bought a new stake in shares of Wells Fargo & Company during the fourth quarter valued at about $102,000. Rocky Mountain Advisers LLC increased its stake in shares of Wells Fargo & Company by 117.6% in the fourth quarter. Rocky Mountain Advisers LLC now owns 1,850 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $102,000 after buying an additional 1,000 shares during the period. Alexandria Capital LLC increased its stake in shares of Wells Fargo & Company by 0.3% in the first quarter. Alexandria Capital LLC now owns 1,826 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $102,000 after buying an additional 6 shares during the period. Finally, Brick & Kyle Associates increased its stake in shares of Wells Fargo & Company by 9.5% in the first quarter. Brick & Kyle Associates now owns 1,859 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $103,000 after buying an additional 162 shares during the period. 75.94% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Wells Fargo & Company Company Profile

Wells Fargo & Company is a bank holding company. The Company is a diversified financial services company. It has three operating segments: Community Banking, Wholesale Banking, and Wealth and Investment Management. The Company offers its services under three categories: personal, small business and commercial.

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