Empire Life Investments Inc. reduced its position in Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE:WFC) by 26.2% during the first quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the SEC. The fund owned 1,269,985 shares of the financial services provider’s stock after selling 451,373 shares during the period. Wells Fargo & accounts for 6.2% of Empire Life Investments Inc.’s holdings, making the stock its largest position. Empire Life Investments Inc.’s holdings in Wells Fargo & were worth $63,764,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Several other hedge funds have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in WFC. Hills Bank & Trust Co. boosted its position in Wells Fargo & by 0.6% in the first quarter. Hills Bank & Trust Co. now owns 91,725 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $5,106,000 after buying an additional 572 shares during the last quarter. Cardinal Capital Management Inc. boosted its position in Wells Fargo & by 3.6% in the first quarter. Cardinal Capital Management Inc. now owns 256,065 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $14,253,000 after buying an additional 8,925 shares during the last quarter. Boltwood Capital Management boosted its position in Wells Fargo & by 1.8% in the first quarter. Boltwood Capital Management now owns 67,487 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $3,756,000 after buying an additional 1,200 shares during the last quarter. Trust Co boosted its position in Wells Fargo & by 6.0% in the fourth quarter. Trust Co now owns 80,544 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $4,438,000 after buying an additional 4,567 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Catawba Capital Management VA boosted its position in Wells Fargo & by 1.3% in the first quarter. Catawba Capital Management VA now owns 103,794 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $5,777,000 after buying an additional 1,345 shares during the last quarter. 76.05% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE:WFC) traded down 0.75% during mid-day trading on Friday, hitting $51.77. 15,307,840 shares of the company traded hands. The company has a market capitalization of $256.98 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 12.75 and a beta of 0.95. Wells Fargo & Company has a one year low of $43.55 and a one year high of $59.99. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $53.60 and its 200 day moving average price is $54.71.

Wells Fargo & (NYSE:WFC) last announced its earnings results on Friday, July 14th. The financial services provider reported $1.07 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.02 by $0.05. The business had revenue of $22.20 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $22.23 billion. Wells Fargo & had a return on equity of 12.65% and a net margin of 23.25%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up .2% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $1.01 EPS. On average, analysts anticipate that Wells Fargo & Company will post $4.17 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Wells Fargo & declared that its Board of Directors has authorized a share repurchase program on Wednesday, June 28th that allows the company to repurchase $11.50 billion in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization allows the financial services provider to purchase up to 4.2% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase programs are generally a sign that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, September 1st. Shareholders of record on Friday, August 4th will be paid a $0.39 dividend. This is a positive change from Wells Fargo &’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.38. This represents a $1.56 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.01%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, August 2nd. Wells Fargo &’s dividend payout ratio is currently 38.42%.

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Several research firms have commented on WFC. Evercore ISI lowered their target price on shares of Wells Fargo & from $60.00 to $58.00 and set an “outperform” rating on the stock in a research note on Friday, May 12th. Jefferies Group LLC reissued a “hold” rating and set a $62.00 target price on shares of Wells Fargo & in a research note on Monday, May 8th. Vetr cut shares of Wells Fargo & from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $57.21 target price on the stock. in a research note on Thursday, May 4th. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reissued a “buy” rating and set a $62.00 target price on shares of Wells Fargo & in a research note on Friday, June 23rd. Finally, BidaskClub raised shares of Wells Fargo & from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, June 29th. Six equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, fourteen have assigned a hold rating, fifteen have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock. The company has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $55.83.

In other Wells Fargo & news, insider Hope A. Hardison sold 20,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, June 7th. The stock was sold at an average price of $52.07, for a total value of $1,041,400.00. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 109 shares in the company, valued at approximately $5,675.63. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, insider Mary T. Mack sold 38,988 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, June 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $52.58, for a total value of $2,049,989.04. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 131,278 shares of company stock worth $6,940,120 over the last 90 days. Corporate insiders own 0.22% of the company’s stock.

About Wells Fargo &

Wells Fargo & Company is a bank holding company. The Company is a diversified financial services company. It has three operating segments: Community Banking, Wholesale Banking, and Wealth and Investment Management. The Company offers its services under three categories: personal, small business and commercial.

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Wells Fargo & (NYSE:WFC)

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