Morgan Stanley downgraded shares of SunTrust Banks Inc. (NYSE:STI) from an equal weight rating to an underweight rating in a report published on Monday. The firm currently has $53.00 price objective on the financial services provider’s stock. The analysts noted that the move was a valuation call.

A number of other equities research analysts have also recently commented on STI. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. cut SunTrust Banks from a conviction-buy rating to a buy rating and lifted their target price for the stock from $44.00 to $46.00 in a research note on Monday, July 25th. Compass Point lifted their target price on SunTrust Banks from $45.00 to $48.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a research note on Tuesday, July 26th. Robert W. Baird reiterated an underperform rating on shares of SunTrust Banks in a research note on Thursday, August 4th. Sanford C. Bernstein cut SunTrust Banks from an outperform rating to a market perform rating and set a $43.00 target price on the stock. in a research note on Tuesday, August 16th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Finally, Deutsche Bank AG reiterated a buy rating and set a $43.00 target price on shares of SunTrust Banks in a research note on Thursday, August 18th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have issued a hold rating, fourteen have given a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. SunTrust Banks presently has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $45.87.

SunTrust Banks (NYSE:STI) opened at 50.79 on Monday. The company has a 50 day moving average of $46.10 and a 200 day moving average of $43.37. SunTrust Banks has a 1-year low of $31.07 and a 1-year high of $52.65. The firm has a market capitalization of $25.19 billion, a P/E ratio of 14.07 and a beta of 1.36.

SunTrust Banks (NYSE:STI) last released its earnings results on Friday, October 21st. The financial services provider reported $0.91 EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.88 by $0.03. The company had revenue of $2.20 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.15 billion. SunTrust Banks had a return on equity of 8.18% and a net margin of 21.12%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 8.4% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the business posted $1.00 EPS. On average, equities research analysts anticipate that SunTrust Banks will post $3.56 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, December 15th. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, November 30th will be given a dividend of $0.26 per share. This represents a $1.04 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.05%. The ex-dividend date is Monday, November 28th. SunTrust Banks’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 28.89%.

In other news, insider Susan S. Johnson sold 794 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, October 24th. The shares were sold at an average price of $45.58, for a total transaction of $36,190.52. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 1,947 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $88,744.26. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, insider Aleem Gillani sold 8,583 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, October 27th. The stock was sold at an average price of $45.90, for a total transaction of $393,959.70. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 239,652 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $11,000,026.80. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 0.67% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in STI. Global X Management Co. LLC increased its stake in shares of SunTrust Banks by 121.2% in the third quarter. Global X Management Co. LLC now owns 2,787 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $122,000 after buying an additional 1,527 shares during the period. AXA bought a new stake in shares of SunTrust Banks during the second quarter valued at approximately $127,000. TLP Group LLC bought a new stake in shares of SunTrust Banks during the third quarter valued at approximately $128,000. Amica Retiree Medical Trust bought a new stake in shares of SunTrust Banks during the second quarter valued at approximately $129,000. Finally, MSI Financial Services Inc increased its stake in shares of SunTrust Banks by 66.2% in the third quarter. MSI Financial Services Inc now owns 3,010 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $132,000 after buying an additional 1,199 shares during the period. 83.08% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

About SunTrust Banks

SunTrust Banks, Inc is a bank holding company and a financial holding company. Through its principal subsidiary, SunTrust Bank, the Company offers a line of financial services for consumers and businesses, including deposit, credit, mortgage banking, and trust and investment services. The Company’s other subsidiaries provide asset and wealth management, securities brokerage, and capital market services.

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