SunTrust Banks Analysts Lift Earnings Estimates for Hilltop Holdings Inc. (HTH)

Hilltop Holdings Inc. (NYSE:HTH) – Analysts at SunTrust Banks boosted their Q4 2018 earnings estimates for Hilltop in a research report issued to clients and investors on Thursday. SunTrust Banks analyst M. Young now expects that the financial services provider will earn $0.55 per share for the quarter, up from their previous forecast of $0.53. SunTrust Banks also issued estimates for Hilltop’s Q1 2019 earnings at $0.38 EPS and Q4 2019 earnings at $0.56 EPS.

Hilltop (NYSE:HTH) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, January 25th. The financial services provider reported $0.44 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.42 by $0.02. The business had revenue of $399.15 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $390.05 million. Hilltop had a net margin of 7.74% and a return on equity of 8.48%.

Several other brokerages also recently commented on HTH. ValuEngine raised shares of Hilltop from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, December 1st. Stephens downgraded shares of Hilltop from an “overweight” rating to an “equal weight” rating in a research note on Monday, January 29th. Piper Jaffray Companies reissued a “hold” rating and issued a $30.00 price objective on shares of Hilltop in a research note on Sunday, January 28th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Hilltop from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $30.00 price objective for the company in a research note on Wednesday, January 10th. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have issued a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $33.50.

Hilltop (NYSE:HTH) opened at $25.71 on Monday. The company has a market cap of $2,467.70, a P/E ratio of 15.58 and a beta of 1.09. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.04, a current ratio of 0.99 and a quick ratio of 0.82. Hilltop has a 52 week low of $21.47 and a 52 week high of $29.54.

Hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Rothschild Asset Management Inc. raised its stake in shares of Hilltop by 75.0% during the third quarter. Rothschild Asset Management Inc. now owns 139,188 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $3,619,000 after acquiring an additional 59,670 shares during the last quarter. Gluskin Sheff & Assoc Inc. bought a new position in shares of Hilltop during the third quarter valued at $15,079,000. Prudential Financial Inc. raised its stake in shares of Hilltop by 8.4% during the third quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. now owns 623,015 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $16,198,000 after acquiring an additional 48,270 shares during the last quarter. American Century Companies Inc. bought a new position in shares of Hilltop during the third quarter valued at $4,516,000. Finally, Allianz Asset Management GmbH bought a new position in shares of Hilltop during the third quarter valued at $28,694,000. 56.40% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

In other Hilltop news, Director Gerald J. Ford purchased 10,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, December 22nd. The stock was purchased at an average price of $25.08 per share, with a total value of $250,800.00. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. 22.50% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, February 28th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, February 15th will be paid a dividend of $0.07 per share. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, February 14th. This represents a $0.28 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.09%. This is an increase from Hilltop’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.06. Hilltop’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 17.78%.

Hilltop declared that its board has initiated a stock buyback plan on Thursday, January 25th that allows the company to buyback $50.00 million in shares. This buyback authorization allows the financial services provider to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares buyback plans are typically a sign that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.

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About Hilltop

Hilltop Holdings Inc is a financial holding Company. The Company provides business and consumer banking services from offices located throughout Texas through PlainsCapital Bank (the Bank). It has three operating business units, which include PlainsCapital Corporation (PCC) (banking and mortgage origination), Hilltop Securities Holdings LLC (Securities Holdings) (broker-dealer) and PlainsCapital Company (NLC) (insurance).

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