Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE:WFC) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Monday, June 19th.

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.”

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

Shares of Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE WFC) traded up 1.05% during midday trading on Monday, reaching $53.00. 8,314,733 shares of the company were exchanged. The firm has a 50-day moving average of $53.36 and a 200 day moving average of $55.31. The firm has a market capitalization of $264.86 billion, a P/E ratio of 13.25 and a beta of 0.97. Wells Fargo & Company has a 52 week low of $43.55 and a 52 week high of $59.99.

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

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, June 1st. Investors of record on Friday, May 5th were given a $0.38 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, May 3rd. This represents a $1.52 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.87%. Wells Fargo & Company’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 38.00%.

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In related news, insider Avid Modjtabai sold 100,000 shares of Wells Fargo & Company stock in a transaction on Friday, April 28th. The shares were sold at an average price of $54.21, for a total value of $5,421,000.00. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, insider Michael J. Loughlin sold 20,000 shares of Wells Fargo & Company stock in a transaction on Thursday, June 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $52.16, for a total transaction of $1,043,200.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 7 shares in the company, valued at $365.12. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, 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.

Institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Smith Asset Management Group LP raised its position in 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 worth $101,000 after buying an additional 70 shares during the period. Trent Capital Management Inc. NC purchased a new position in Wells Fargo & Company during the fourth quarter worth $102,000. Rocky Mountain Advisers LLC raised its position in 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 worth $102,000 after buying an additional 1,000 shares during the period. Alexandria Capital LLC raised its position in 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 worth $102,000 after buying an additional 6 shares during the period. Finally, Brick & Kyle Associates raised its position in 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 worth $103,000 after buying an additional 162 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 75.94% of the company’s stock.

About Wells Fargo & Company

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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