Cullen/Frost Bankers (CFR) Cut to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

Cullen/Frost Bankers (NYSE:CFR) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a note issued to investors on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Cullen/Frost have outperformed the industry over the last six months. Also, the company boasts an impressive earnings surprise history. It has surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings in three out of the trailing four quarters. Fourth-quarter 2017 results reflected top-line strength and lower provisions. With a rising interest-rate environment and improving non-interest bearing deposits, the company's net interest income and net interest margin are expected to grow. Also, the company’s steady capital-deployment activities reflect strong balance-sheet position. However, its risky loan portfolio and escalating costs stemming mainly from expanding franchise are likely to deter bottom-line growth to some extent.”

Several other equities analysts have also commented on the stock. Stephens set a $110.00 target price on shares of Cullen/Frost Bankers and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Friday. Barclays lifted their price target on shares of Cullen/Frost Bankers from $110.00 to $113.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a report on Friday, January 26th. Maxim Group reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $120.00 price target (up from $110.00) on shares of Cullen/Frost Bankers in a report on Friday, January 26th. Morgan Stanley lifted their price target on shares of Cullen/Frost Bankers from $96.00 to $107.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a report on Wednesday, December 13th. Finally, SunTrust Banks reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $116.00 price target on shares of Cullen/Frost Bankers in a report on Wednesday, November 29th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, fourteen have issued a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $104.19.

Cullen/Frost Bankers (CFR) traded up $0.97 during mid-day trading on Tuesday, reaching $104.89. 553,879 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 474,419. The company has a current ratio of 0.65, a quick ratio of 0.65 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.07. Cullen/Frost Bankers has a 52-week low of $81.09 and a 52-week high of $108.77. The company has a market cap of $6,501.31, a price-to-earnings ratio of 19.04, a P/E/G ratio of 1.70 and a beta of 1.37.

Cullen/Frost Bankers (NYSE:CFR) last released its earnings results on Thursday, January 25th. The bank reported $1.47 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.39 by $0.08. Cullen/Frost Bankers had a net margin of 29.62% and a return on equity of 11.78%. The firm had revenue of $358.69 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $351.34 million. During the same period last year, the firm earned $1.28 EPS. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 6.0% compared to the same quarter last year. equities research analysts forecast that Cullen/Frost Bankers will post 6.32 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Cullen/Frost Bankers announced that its Board of Directors has initiated a stock repurchase plan on Thursday, October 26th that authorizes the company to buyback $150.00 million in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the bank to repurchase up to 2.4% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback plans are generally a sign that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.

In related news, insider Annette M. Alonzo sold 4,500 shares of Cullen/Frost Bankers stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, January 29th. The shares were sold at an average price of $106.58, for a total transaction of $479,610.00. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 3,738 shares in the company, valued at approximately $398,396.04. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, insider Candace K. Wolfshohl sold 7,000 shares of Cullen/Frost Bankers stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, December 13th. The stock was sold at an average price of $94.99, for a total transaction of $664,930.00. Following the sale, the insider now owns 9,145 shares in the company, valued at $868,683.55. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 63,500 shares of company stock worth $6,586,930 over the last ninety days. 5.15% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

A number of large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. BlackRock Inc. boosted its position in Cullen/Frost Bankers by 0.5% during the 4th quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 5,110,763 shares of the bank’s stock worth $483,732,000 after buying an additional 27,545 shares during the period. Principal Financial Group Inc. boosted its position in Cullen/Frost Bankers by 0.4% during the 3rd quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 1,838,126 shares of the bank’s stock worth $174,474,000 after buying an additional 7,228 shares during the period. Wedge Capital Management L L P NC boosted its position in Cullen/Frost Bankers by 2.3% during the 3rd quarter. Wedge Capital Management L L P NC now owns 1,228,405 shares of the bank’s stock worth $116,600,000 after buying an additional 27,161 shares during the period. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company boosted its position in Cullen/Frost Bankers by 1.0% during the 4th quarter. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company now owns 1,000,321 shares of the bank’s stock worth $94,681,000 after buying an additional 9,721 shares during the period. Finally, Champlain Investment Partners LLC boosted its position in Cullen/Frost Bankers by 1.5% during the 4th quarter. Champlain Investment Partners LLC now owns 895,935 shares of the bank’s stock worth $84,800,000 after buying an additional 13,555 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 80.12% of the company’s stock.

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About Cullen/Frost Bankers

Cullen/Frost Bankers, Inc is a financial holding company and a bank holding company. The Company, through its subsidiaries, provides a range of products and services throughout Texas markets. The Company’s segments include Banking, Frost Wealth Advisors and Non-Banks. The Banking segment includes both commercial and consumer banking services, and Frost Insurance Agency.

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