Fifth Third Bancorp (NASDAQ:FITB) saw a large growth in short interest in July. As of July 31st, there was short interest totalling 12,277,259 shares, a growth of 12.5% from the July 14th total of 10,916,807 shares. Based on an average daily volume of 6,687,501 shares, the short-interest ratio is currently 1.8 days. Approximately 1.6% of the company’s stock are short sold.

Shares of Fifth Third Bancorp (NASDAQ:FITB) opened at 27.02 on Wednesday. The firm has a market cap of $19.91 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 13.69 and a beta of 1.37. Fifth Third Bancorp has a 12-month low of $19.33 and a 12-month high of $28.97. The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $26.38 and a 200-day moving average price of $25.72.

Fifth Third Bancorp (NASDAQ:FITB) last released its earnings results on Friday, July 21st. The financial services provider reported $0.45 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.42 by $0.03. The business had revenue of $1.51 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.52 billion. Fifth Third Bancorp had a return on equity of 10.44% and a net margin of 21.83%. Fifth Third Bancorp’s revenue was up .1% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $0.40 earnings per share. Equities research analysts anticipate that Fifth Third Bancorp will post $1.82 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, July 17th. Shareholders of record on Friday, June 30th were paid a $0.14 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, June 28th. This represents a $0.56 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.07%. Fifth Third Bancorp’s dividend payout ratio is 28.43%.

Fifth Third Bancorp announced that its board has initiated a stock repurchase plan on Wednesday, June 28th that allows the company to repurchase $1.16 billion in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization allows the financial services provider to reacquire up to 67% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are typically a sign that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.

Hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Koch Industries Inc. acquired a new stake in Fifth Third Bancorp during the second quarter valued at about $325,000. Scotia Capital Inc. raised its stake in Fifth Third Bancorp by 1.2% in the second quarter. Scotia Capital Inc. now owns 78,139 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $2,028,000 after buying an additional 900 shares in the last quarter. Fairfield Bush & CO. raised its stake in Fifth Third Bancorp by 7.0% in the second quarter. Fairfield Bush & CO. now owns 30,381 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $789,000 after buying an additional 2,000 shares in the last quarter. Quadrant Capital Group LLC raised its stake in Fifth Third Bancorp by 141.9% in the second quarter. Quadrant Capital Group LLC now owns 13,503 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $344,000 after buying an additional 7,922 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Cubist Systematic Strategies LLC raised its stake in Fifth Third Bancorp by 249.8% in the second quarter. Cubist Systematic Strategies LLC now owns 46,872 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $1,217,000 after buying an additional 33,472 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 81.26% of the company’s stock.

A number of research firms have recently weighed in on FITB. BidaskClub downgraded Fifth Third Bancorp from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Saturday. Jefferies Group LLC reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $28.00 price target on shares of Fifth Third Bancorp in a research note on Friday, August 11th. Wells Fargo & Company began coverage on Fifth Third Bancorp in a research note on Wednesday, August 9th. They set a “market perform” rating and a $27.00 price target for the company. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Fifth Third Bancorp from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday, July 31st. Finally, BMO Capital Markets reaffirmed a “market perform” rating and set a $28.00 price target (up from $27.00) on shares of Fifth Third Bancorp in a research note on Tuesday, July 25th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nineteen have assigned a hold rating and three have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $26.54.

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Fifth Third Bancorp Company Profile

Fifth Third Bancorp is a bank holding company and a financial holding company. The Company conducts its principal lending, deposit gathering, transaction processing and service advisory activities through its banking and non-banking subsidiaries from banking centers located throughout the Midwestern and Southeastern regions of the United States.

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