Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE:WFC) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Monday.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Wells Fargo have underperformed the industry year to date. However, the company has an impressive earnings surprise history. The company has surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings in all the trailing four quarters. Wells Fargo plans $4 billion of cost cuts by 2019. Moreover, though lesser regulations on lending and capital levels are not expected any time soon, these are likely to reduce costs of compliance significantly and allow banks to grow lending. Further, rising rates are easing margin pressure to an extent. While the current crisis related to the revelation of illegally opening millions of illegal accounts last year at the company will take some time to alleviate, we believe that consistent growth in loans and deposits and expansions will likely support its growth profile.”

Several other research firms have also recently weighed in on WFC. UBS AG reaffirmed a “neutral” rating and issued a $56.00 price target (down previously from $59.00) on shares of Wells Fargo & in a report on Friday. Piper Jaffray Companies reaffirmed a “neutral” rating and issued a $50.00 price target (down previously from $52.00) on shares of Wells Fargo & in a report on Wednesday, September 13th. Berenberg Bank cut shares of Wells Fargo & from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating and upped their price target for the stock from $35.00 to $45.00 in a report on Friday, July 21st. Robert W. Baird reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $58.00 price target on shares of Wells Fargo & in a report on Tuesday, September 5th. Finally, Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reaffirmed an “overweight” rating on shares of Wells Fargo & in a report on Thursday, July 13th. Six equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, fourteen have given a hold rating, fourteen have issued a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $56.00.

Wells Fargo & (NYSE WFC) opened at 51.66 on Monday. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $51.92 and a 200 day moving average price of $54.04. The company has a market cap of $256.44 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 12.72 and a beta of 0.96. Wells Fargo & has a 52 week low of $43.55 and a 52 week high of $59.99.

Wells Fargo & (NYSE:WFC) last posted its earnings results on Friday, July 14th. The financial services provider reported $1.07 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.02 by $0.05. The firm had revenue of $22.20 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $22.23 billion. Wells Fargo & had a return on equity of 12.65% and a net margin of 23.25%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up .2% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business posted $1.01 earnings per share. On average, equities analysts forecast that Wells Fargo & will post $4.16 earnings per share for the current year.

Wells Fargo & announced that its Board of Directors has approved a stock buyback program on Wednesday, June 28th that authorizes the company to repurchase $11.50 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the financial services provider to repurchase up to 4.2% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase programs are typically a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.

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A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of WFC. Delphi Private Advisors LLC lifted its holdings in Wells Fargo & by 262.8% in the second quarter. Delphi Private Advisors LLC now owns 2,017 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $100,000 after buying an additional 1,461 shares during the period. Alexandria Capital LLC lifted its holdings in Wells Fargo & by 0.3% in the first quarter. Alexandria Capital LLC now owns 1,826 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $102,000 after buying an additional 6 shares during the period. Brick & Kyle Associates lifted its holdings in Wells Fargo & by 9.5% in the first quarter. Brick & Kyle Associates now owns 1,859 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $103,000 after buying an additional 162 shares during the period. Stelac Advisory Services LLC purchased a new stake in Wells Fargo & in the second quarter worth about $104,000. Finally, Patriot Financial Group Insurance Agency LLC lifted its holdings in Wells Fargo & by 0.3% in the second quarter. Patriot Financial Group Insurance Agency LLC now owns 1,912 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $106,000 after buying an additional 6 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 75.10% 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.

Analyst Recommendations for Wells Fargo & (NYSE:WFC)

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