Itau Unibanco Holding SA (ITUB) Given Average Recommendation of “Hold” by Brokerages

Itau Unibanco Holding SA (NYSE:ITUB) has received a consensus rating of “Hold” from the seven research firms that are presently covering the stock, MarketBeat.com reports. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell recommendation, four have given a hold recommendation, one has assigned a buy recommendation and one has given a strong buy recommendation to the company. The average twelve-month target price among brokerages that have issued a report on the stock in the last year is $14.25.

A number of analysts have issued reports on ITUB shares. BidaskClub lowered Itau Unibanco from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Monday, October 23rd. ValuEngine lowered Itau Unibanco from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, October 27th. Zacks Investment Research lowered Itau Unibanco from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Tuesday, November 7th. Finally, Deutsche Bank raised Itau Unibanco from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $16.00 price objective on the stock in a report on Monday, December 11th.

Shares of Itau Unibanco (NYSE:ITUB) opened at $16.30 on Thursday. The stock has a market capitalization of $101,793.51, a P/E ratio of 14.17, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.69 and a beta of 1.79. The company has a quick ratio of 1.66, a current ratio of 1.66 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.57. Itau Unibanco has a fifty-two week low of $10.02 and a fifty-two week high of $16.98.

Itau Unibanco announced that its Board of Directors has authorized a stock buyback program on Monday, December 18th that permits the company to buyback 28,620,000 outstanding shares. This buyback authorization permits the bank to buy shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are often a sign that the company’s management believes its shares are undervalued.

The company also recently disclosed a monthly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, April 12th. Stockholders of record on Friday, March 2nd will be issued a dividend of $0.0046 per share. This represents a $0.05 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.34%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, March 1st. Itau Unibanco’s payout ratio is presently 5.22%.

Several large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Harding Loevner LP grew its holdings in shares of Itau Unibanco by 225.1% during the 3rd quarter. Harding Loevner LP now owns 193,057,699 shares of the bank’s stock worth $774,895,000 after purchasing an additional 133,670,409 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. lifted its position in shares of Itau Unibanco by 2.9% during the 4th quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 43,741,482 shares of the bank’s stock worth $568,639,000 after buying an additional 1,239,288 shares during the period. JPMorgan Chase & Co. lifted its position in shares of Itau Unibanco by 1.9% during the 3rd quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 32,923,292 shares of the bank’s stock worth $444,464,000 after buying an additional 627,005 shares during the period. Baillie Gifford & Co. lifted its position in shares of Itau Unibanco by 21.3% during the 3rd quarter. Baillie Gifford & Co. now owns 28,091,190 shares of the bank’s stock worth $384,849,000 after buying an additional 4,924,628 shares during the period. Finally, Fisher Asset Management LLC lifted its position in shares of Itau Unibanco by 33.8% during the 4th quarter. Fisher Asset Management LLC now owns 25,914,919 shares of the bank’s stock worth $336,894,000 after buying an additional 6,553,611 shares during the period. 4.81% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

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About Itau Unibanco

Itau Unibanco Holding SA is a holding company. The Company provides a range of financial products and services to individual and corporate clients in Brazil and abroad. The Company operates through three segments: Retail Banking, Wholesale Banking, and Activities with the Market + Corporation. The Retail Banking segment offers banking products and services to a diversified client base of account holders and non-account holders, individuals and companies.

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