Citizens Financial Group, Inc. (NYSE:CFG) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued on Friday.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Citizens Financial have outperformed the industry year to date. This performance was supported by the company’s impressive earnings surprise history. It hasn’t missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings in any of the trailing four quarters. It remains on track to implement TOP III efficiency initiatives, which are expected to boost earnings performance further. The company also launched TOP IV initiatives which are expected to achieve pre-tax benefit of $90-$105 million by the end of 2018. Following the Fed rate hikes so far, margin pressure seems to be easing. Also, the company continues to benefit from improving loans and deposit balances, and is well positioned to grow further as the U.S. economy is gaining traction. However, higher costs resulting from pending legal hassles remain a major concern.”

Several other research firms have also recently weighed in on CFG. BidaskClub upgraded shares of Citizens Financial Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Saturday, July 8th. Deutsche Bank AG reiterated a “hold” rating on shares of Citizens Financial Group in a research note on Wednesday, July 5th. BMO Capital Markets reiterated a “market perform” rating and issued a $39.00 target price (up previously from $38.00) on shares of Citizens Financial Group in a research note on Tuesday, July 25th. TheStreet upgraded shares of Citizens Financial Group from a “c” rating to a “b-” rating in a research note on Monday, August 7th. Finally, Citigroup Inc. reiterated a “hold” rating on shares of Citizens Financial Group in a research note on Thursday, June 22nd. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have issued a hold rating and seven have given a buy rating to the company. Citizens Financial Group currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $35.75.

Shares of Citizens Financial Group (NYSE:CFG) traded up 0.26% during mid-day trading on Friday, reaching $34.87. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 2,053,407 shares. The company has a 50 day moving average price of $33.99 and a 200 day moving average price of $35.35. The stock has a market capitalization of $17.46 billion, a P/E ratio of 14.89 and a beta of 1.32. Citizens Financial Group has a 12 month low of $23.81 and a 12 month high of $39.75.

Citizens Financial Group (NYSE:CFG) last released its earnings results on Friday, July 21st. The bank reported $0.63 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.59 by $0.04. Citizens Financial Group had a net margin of 19.86% and a return on equity of 6.08%. The business had revenue of $1.40 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.40 billion. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $0.46 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue was up 9.2% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities research analysts anticipate that Citizens Financial Group will post $2.53 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Citizens Financial Group declared that its board has initiated a share repurchase plan on Wednesday, June 28th that permits the company to repurchase $850.00 million in shares. This repurchase authorization permits the bank to reacquire up to 4.8% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are usually a sign that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.

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Several large investors have recently bought and sold shares of CFG. Sun Life Financial INC raised its stake in shares of Citizens Financial Group by 41,266.7% in the second quarter. Sun Life Financial INC now owns 3,723 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $133,000 after acquiring an additional 3,714 shares during the last quarter. Smithfield Trust Co. raised its stake in shares of Citizens Financial Group by 1.4% in the second quarter. Smithfield Trust Co. now owns 4,994 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $178,000 after acquiring an additional 70 shares during the last quarter. Colony Group LLC bought a new position in shares of Citizens Financial Group in the second quarter valued at approximately $210,000. Greenwood Capital Associates LLC bought a new position in shares of Citizens Financial Group in the first quarter valued at approximately $211,000. Finally, Holderness Investments Co. bought a new position in shares of Citizens Financial Group in the first quarter valued at approximately $214,000. Institutional investors own 96.86% of the company’s stock.

Citizens Financial Group Company Profile

Citizens Financial Group, Inc is a retail bank holding company. The Company operates through two segments: Consumer Banking and Commercial Banking. Its Consumer Banking serves retail customers and small businesses. Consumer Banking products and services include deposit products, mortgage and home equity lending, auto financing, student loans, personal unsecured lines and loans, credit cards, business loans, wealth management and investment services.

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Analyst Recommendations for Citizens Financial Group (NYSE:CFG)

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