SunTrust Banks Inc. (NYSE:STI) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report issued on Friday. The brokerage presently has a $59.00 target price on the financial services provider’s stock. Zacks Investment Research’s price target points to a potential upside of 13.03% from the stock’s current price.

According to Zacks, “SunTrust shares have outperformed the Zacks categorized Major Regional Banks industry over the last three months. Its 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 will aid the company’s credit quality in the near term. However, continued pressure on margin in absence of notable rate hike, significant exposure to risky loan portfolios and stringent regulatory requirements are major cause of concerns.”

A number of other brokerages have also commented on STI. Wedbush assumed coverage on SunTrust Banks in a research note on Thursday, October 6th. They set a “neutral” rating and a $47.00 price target on the stock. FBR & Co reaffirmed an “outperform” rating and issued a $49.00 price objective on shares of SunTrust Banks in a research note on Tuesday, October 11th. Barclays PLC reaffirmed a “hold” rating and issued a $49.00 price objective on shares of SunTrust Banks in a research note on Monday, November 7th. Wells Fargo & Co. lowered SunTrust Banks from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating in a research note on Friday, November 18th. Finally, Compass Point lowered SunTrust Banks from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and lifted their price objective for the stock from $48.00 to $54.00 in a research note on Wednesday, November 23rd. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have given a hold rating, eleven have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $46.13.

Analyst Recommendations for SunTrust Banks (NYSE:STI)

SunTrust Banks (NYSE:STI) opened at 51.56 on Friday. The firm’s 50-day moving average price is $47.63 and its 200-day moving average price is $43.96. SunTrust Banks has a 52-week low of $31.07 and a 52-week high of $52.65. The firm has a market cap of $25.57 billion, a P/E ratio of 14.28 and a beta of 1.36.

SunTrust Banks (NYSE:STI) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Friday, October 21st. The financial services provider reported $0.91 EPS 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 firm had revenue of $2.20 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.15 billion. During the same period last year, the firm posted $1.00 earnings per share. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 8.4% on a year-over-year basis. Equities research analysts expect that SunTrust Banks will post $3.57 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently declared 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. The ex-dividend date is Monday, November 28th. This represents a $1.04 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.99%. SunTrust Banks’s dividend payout ratio is presently 28.89%.

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In other news, insider Susan S. Johnson sold 794 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Monday, October 24th. The stock was sold at an average price of $45.58, for a total transaction 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 sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, insider Anil T. Cheriyan sold 8,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, November 22nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $52.15, for a total value of $417,200.00. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 81,203 shares in the company, valued at approximately $4,234,736.45. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 0.67% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of STI. American Century Companies Inc. raised its stake in SunTrust Banks by 64.4% in the second quarter. American Century Companies Inc. now owns 8,267,226 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $339,618,000 after buying an additional 3,238,624 shares during the last quarter. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company bought a new stake in SunTrust Banks during the third quarter worth about $99,138,000. Credit Suisse AG raised its stake in 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 worth $150,976,000 after buying an additional 2,074,075 shares during the last quarter. FMR LLC raised its stake in SunTrust Banks by 6.5% in the second quarter. FMR LLC now owns 31,288,755 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $1,285,342,000 after buying an additional 1,918,166 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Bank of New York Mellon Corp raised its stake in SunTrust Banks by 28.4% in the second quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 7,066,156 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $290,278,000 after buying an additional 1,564,929 shares during the last quarter. 81.23% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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.

5 Day Chart for NYSE:STI

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