SunTrust Banks Inc. (NYSE:STI) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued to investors on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “SunTrust’s third-quarter 2016 earnings surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate, reflecting an improved top line, partly offset by higher operating expenses. The company’s initiatives to enhance revenues through growth in loan and deposit balances are impressive. In Oct 2016, the company announced a deal to buy Pillar Financial, which is likely to improve Wholesale Banking segment revenue by $90 million in 2017. Also, the gradually stabilizing energy sector as well as economic recovery will aid the company’s credit quality. However, a persistent low interest rate scenario continues to put pressure on margins. Also, significant exposure to commercial and residential loan portfolios and stricter regulatory norms remain near-term concerns.”

A number of other research analysts have also weighed in on STI. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. lowered SunTrust Banks from a “conviction-buy” rating to a “buy” rating and raised their price objective for the company from $44.00 to $46.00 in a research report on Monday, July 25th. Compass Point raised their price objective on SunTrust Banks from $45.00 to $48.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Tuesday, July 26th. Robert W. Baird reaffirmed an “underperform” rating on shares of SunTrust Banks in a research report on Thursday, August 4th. Sanford C. Bernstein downgraded 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 assigned a hold rating, fourteen have given a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company. The company has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $45.87.

Analyst Recommendations for SunTrust Banks (NYSE:STI)

Shares of SunTrust Banks (NYSE:STI) opened at 50.79 on Tuesday. SunTrust Banks has a 52 week low of $31.07 and a 52 week high of $52.65. The firm has a 50 day moving average price of $46.10 and a 200 day moving average price of $43.37. The company has a market capitalization of $25.19 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 14.07 and a beta of 1.36.

SunTrust Banks (NYSE:STI) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Friday, October 21st. The financial services provider reported $0.91 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.88 by $0.03. SunTrust Banks had a return on equity of 8.18% and a net margin of 21.12%. The company earned $2.20 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.15 billion. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $1.00 EPS. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 8.4% on a year-over-year basis. Equities analysts forecast that SunTrust Banks will post $3.56 EPS for the current year.

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

In other SunTrust Banks news, insider Aleem Gillani sold 8,583 shares of the business’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 completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 239,652 shares in the company, valued at $11,000,026.80. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, insider Susan S. Johnson sold 794 shares of the business’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 value of $36,190.52. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 1,947 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $88,744.26. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 0.67% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Credit Suisse AG raised its position in shares of SunTrust Banks by 151.1% in the third quarter. Credit Suisse AG now owns 3,446,948 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $150,976,000 after buying an additional 2,074,075 shares during the period. Ameritas Investment Partners Inc. raised its position in shares of SunTrust Banks by 21.0% in the third quarter. Ameritas Investment Partners Inc. now owns 11,987 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $525,000 after buying an additional 2,080 shares during the period. Lombard Odier Asset Management Europe Ltd acquired a new position in shares of SunTrust Banks during the third quarter valued at about $370,000. Cetera Advisor Networks LLC raised its position in shares of SunTrust Banks by 70.3% in the third quarter. Cetera Advisor Networks LLC now owns 11,851 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $519,000 after buying an additional 4,892 shares during the period. Finally, SRB Corp raised its position in shares of SunTrust Banks by 9.9% in the third quarter. SRB Corp now owns 3,673 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $161,000 after buying an additional 332 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 83.08% of the company’s stock.

SunTrust Banks Company Profile

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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