SunTrust Banks (STI) Upgraded at Zacks Investment Research

SunTrust Banks (NYSE:STI) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Friday. The brokerage presently has a $72.00 price objective on the financial services provider’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price objective indicates a potential upside of 9.32% from the stock’s current price.

According to Zacks, “SunTrust’s shares have outperformed the industry over the past six months. Also, the company has an impressive earnings surprise history, having surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate in three of the trailing four quarters. Easing margin pressure, rise in loan demand and initiatives to control costs should continue to support the company’s profitability. Moreover, improving asset quality is another positive for the company. Further, a lower corporate tax rate is likely to support financials. However, significant exposure to risky loan portfolios and slowdown in mortgage business are the major near-term concerns for the company.”

Several other analysts have also recently commented on STI. Nomura raised their price target on shares of SunTrust Banks from $62.00 to $63.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a report on Thursday, September 28th. Goldman Sachs Group restated a “buy” rating and set a $74.00 price target on shares of SunTrust Banks in a report on Thursday. Robert W. Baird restated a “hold” rating and set a $55.00 price target on shares of SunTrust Banks in a report on Sunday, October 1st. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $77.00 target price on shares of SunTrust Banks in a research note on Friday, December 29th. Finally, Barclays lifted their target price on shares of SunTrust Banks from $68.00 to $77.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a research note on Tuesday. Fifteen equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eleven have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $66.55.

Shares of SunTrust Banks (NYSE STI) traded up $0.18 on Friday, hitting $65.86. 5,825,600 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 4,601,800. SunTrust Banks has a one year low of $51.96 and a one year high of $67.02. The firm has a market capitalization of $31,280.00, a PE ratio of 16.89, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.58 and a beta of 1.29. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.50, a quick ratio of 0.93 and a current ratio of 0.94.

SunTrust Banks (NYSE:STI) last announced its earnings results on Friday, October 20th. The financial services provider reported $1.06 EPS for the quarter, hitting the consensus estimate of $1.06. SunTrust Banks had a net margin of 20.88% and a return on equity of 8.83%. The company had revenue of $2.31 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.30 billion. During the same period last year, the company posted $0.91 earnings per share. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 3.7% on a year-over-year basis. sell-side analysts forecast that SunTrust Banks will post 4.07 EPS for the current year.

In other news, Vice Chairman Mark A. Chancy sold 4,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, November 29th. The shares were sold at an average price of $60.06, for a total value of $240,240.00. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, Director Kyle P. Legg sold 3,300 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, November 7th. The shares were sold at an average price of $21.82, for a total transaction of $72,006.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 0.55% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Vanguard Group Inc. lifted its position in SunTrust Banks by 0.7% during the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 32,947,441 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $1,868,780,000 after buying an additional 227,501 shares in the last quarter. FMR LLC lifted its position in SunTrust Banks by 4.3% during the 2nd quarter. FMR LLC now owns 29,614,981 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $1,679,761,000 after purchasing an additional 1,219,272 shares during the period. Capital World Investors lifted its position in SunTrust Banks by 20.7% during the 2nd quarter. Capital World Investors now owns 29,513,083 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $1,673,982,000 after purchasing an additional 5,056,000 shares during the period. American Century Companies Inc. lifted its position in SunTrust Banks by 31.4% during the 3rd quarter. American Century Companies Inc. now owns 7,293,744 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $435,947,000 after purchasing an additional 1,742,756 shares during the period. Finally, Boston Partners lifted its position in SunTrust Banks by 6.8% during the 3rd quarter. Boston Partners now owns 6,812,235 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $407,167,000 after purchasing an additional 433,042 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 80.69% of the company’s stock.

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About SunTrust Banks

SunTrust Banks, Inc is a provider of financial services. The Company’s principal subsidiary is SunTrust Bank (the Bank). The Company’s business segments include Consumer Banking and Private Wealth Management, Wholesale Banking, Mortgage Banking and Corporate Other. As of December 31, 2016, the Consumer Banking and Private Wealth Management segment consisted of three primary businesses: Consumer Banking, Consumer Lending and Private Wealth Management.

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