Wells Fargo & Co. (WFC) Downgraded by Zacks Investment Research to Sell
According to Zacks, “Wells Fargo’s troubles continue to deepen following its $190-million settlement to resolve regulators’ claims of illegally opening millions of unauthorized accounts. The company currently faces huge criticism as the bank’s employees resorted to unethical sales practices to meet their aggressive internal sales targets. The bank has terminated the concerned employees and is taking necessary steps to address the issue. However, the fallout from the scam does not only include potential lawsuits and further probes but also tarnishes the reputation of one of the largest banks of the nation. While the company’s growth profile remains well positioned, given its strong geographic footprint and solid business mix, the low interest rate environment continues to weigh on margin.”
A number of other analysts have also weighed in on the stock. Evercore ISI restated a buy rating and issued a $51.00 target price on shares of Wells Fargo & Co. in a research report on Wednesday. Vetr lowered shares of Wells Fargo & Co. from a buy rating to a hold rating and set a $46.29 price target on the stock. in a report on Tuesday. FBR & Co reiterated an outperform rating and set a $50.00 price target (down previously from $63.00) on shares of Wells Fargo & Co. in a report on Tuesday. Citigroup Inc. reissued an outperform rating and set a $50.00 target price (down previously from $56.00) on shares of Wells Fargo & Co. in a research note on Monday. Finally, Raymond James Financial Inc. reissued a market perform rating on shares of Wells Fargo & Co. in a research note on Friday, September 23rd. Six analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have given a hold rating and nineteen have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock has an average rating of Hold and an average price target of $50.46.
Shares of Wells Fargo & Co. (NYSE:WFC) traded down 0.3502% during midday trading on Thursday, reaching $44.2146. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 9,772,838 shares. The stock has a market capitalization of $223.09 billion, a PE ratio of 10.9172 and a beta of 0.90. Wells Fargo & Co. has a 52 week low of $44.10 and a 52 week high of $56.34. The stock has a 50-day moving average price of $47.85 and a 200 day moving average price of $48.44.
Wells Fargo & Co. (NYSE:WFC) last released its quarterly earnings data on Friday, July 15th. The financial services provider reported $1.01 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, meeting analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.01. The firm earned $22.20 billion during the quarter. Wells Fargo & Co. had a return on equity of 12.95% and a net margin of 24.33%. Wells Fargo & Co.’s revenue for the quarter was up 4.0% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the business posted $1.03 EPS. Equities analysts forecast that Wells Fargo & Co. will post $4.02 earnings per share for the current year.
The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, September 1st. Shareholders of record on Friday, August 5th were paid a dividend of $0.38 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, August 3rd. This represents a $1.52 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.43%. Wells Fargo & Co.’s dividend payout ratio is currently 37.25%.
In other Wells Fargo & Co. news, COO Timothy J. Sloan sold 20,500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, August 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $48.92, for a total transaction of $1,002,860.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief operating officer now directly owns 650,815 shares in the company, valued at approximately $31,837,869.80. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Company insiders own 0.29% of the company’s stock.
A number of hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Manning & Napier Advisors LLC raised its stake in Wells Fargo & Co. by 1.6% in the first quarter. Manning & Napier Advisors LLC now owns 397,159 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $19,205,000 after buying an additional 6,375 shares in the last quarter. Berkshire Asset Management LLC PA increased its stake in shares of Wells Fargo & Co. by 7.6% in the first quarter. Berkshire Asset Management LLC PA now owns 343,903 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $16,631,000 after buying an additional 24,203 shares during the last quarter. Eastern Bank increased its stake in shares of Wells Fargo & Co. by 31.9% in the first quarter. Eastern Bank now owns 278,935 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $13,490,000 after buying an additional 67,510 shares during the last quarter. Osborne Partners Capital Management LLC increased its stake in shares of Wells Fargo & Co. by 2.0% in the first quarter. Osborne Partners Capital Management LLC now owns 526,644 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $25,468,000 after buying an additional 10,450 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Tufton Capital Management increased its stake in shares of Wells Fargo & Co. by 1.9% in the first quarter. Tufton Capital Management now owns 148,435 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $7,178,000 after buying an additional 2,794 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 73.98% of the company’s stock.
About Wells Fargo & Co.
Wells Fargo & Company is a bank holding company. The Company is a financial services company, which offers banking, insurance, trust and investments, mortgage banking, investment banking, retail banking, brokerage, and consumer and commercial finance. It has three operating segments: Community Banking, Wholesale Banking, and Wealth and Investment Management.
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