CIT Group Inc. (NYSE:CIT) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note issued to investors on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “CIT Group’s third-quarter 2016 earnings from continuing operations lagged the Zacks Consensus Estimate. Moreover, the company has been facing deteriorating asset quality and mounting expenses. Expenses are expected to increase further due to the company’s continued investments in franchise. Though the company has initiated cost-saving plans, benefits from the same are expected to be offset by the strategic initiative costs in the near term. Further, sluggish growth in the industries where the company provides finance, along with strict regulations, will likely dent its performance in the near term. However, the sale of the aircraft leasing operation is in sync with its efforts to become a leading national middle-market bank. Also, its capital deployment initiatives are impressive.”

Several other equities analysts also recently weighed in on the company. Credit Suisse Group AG reduced their price target on CIT Group from $42.00 to $34.55 and set a “neutral” rating for the company in a report on Monday, August 15th. TheStreet upgraded CIT Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Monday, August 8th. Bank of America Corp. upgraded CIT Group from an “underperform” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $39.00 price target for the company in a report on Tuesday, October 11th. Stifel Nicolaus downgraded CIT Group from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and raised their price target for the company from $40.00 to $41.00 in a report on Friday, October 7th. Finally, Stephens started coverage on CIT Group in a report on Tuesday, November 1st. They set an “equal weight” rating for the company. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have assigned a hold rating and seven have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $41.27.

Analyst Recommendations for CIT Group (NYSE:CIT)

Shares of CIT Group (NYSE:CIT) opened at 41.05 on Tuesday. The stock has a market capitalization of $8.29 billion, a P/E ratio of 18.95 and a beta of 1.51. CIT Group has a 12-month low of $25.19 and a 12-month high of $43.57. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $37.38 and its 200 day moving average is $34.87.

CIT Group (NYSE:CIT) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, October 25th. The financial services provider reported $0.65 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.79 by $0.14. The firm earned $608.70 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $622.98 million. CIT Group had a return on equity of 6.37% and a net margin of 9.61%. CIT Group’s revenue for the quarter was down 5.6% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the company posted $3.61 EPS. On average, equities research analysts forecast that CIT Group will post $2.24 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, November 25th. Shareholders of record on Friday, November 11th will be given a $0.15 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, November 8th. This represents a $0.60 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.46%. CIT Group’s payout ratio is 27.65%.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Capital World Investors purchased a new position in shares of CIT Group during the second quarter valued at about $203,905,000. Canada Pension Plan Investment Board boosted its position in shares of CIT Group by 27,895.1% in the second quarter. Canada Pension Plan Investment Board now owns 4,132,920 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $131,881,000 after buying an additional 4,118,157 shares during the last quarter. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company purchased a new position in shares of CIT Group during the third quarter valued at about $96,459,000. Morgan Stanley boosted its position in shares of CIT Group by 21.3% in the third quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 6,611,341 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $239,993,000 after buying an additional 1,159,382 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Emerald Acquisition Ltd. purchased a new position in shares of CIT Group during the second quarter valued at about $32,426,000. 96.91% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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CIT Group Company Profile

CIT Group Inc (CIT) is a bank holding company. The Company, together with its subsidiaries, provides financing, leasing and advisory services to middle market companies in a range of industries in North America, and equipment financing and leasing solutions to the transportation industry around the world.

5 Day Chart for NYSE:CIT

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