Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Cullen/Frost Bankers (NYSE:CFR) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note published on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Cullen/Frost have outperformed the industry over the last six months. Also, the company boasts an impressive earnings surprise history. It has surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings in three out of the trailing four quarters. Fourth-quarter 2017 results reflected top-line strength and lower provisions. With a rising interest-rate environment and improving non-interest bearing deposits, the company's net interest income and net interest margin are expected to grow. Also, the company’s steady capital-deployment activities reflect strong balance-sheet position. However, its risky loan portfolio and escalating costs stemming mainly from expanding franchise are likely to deter bottom-line growth to some extent.”

Other equities research analysts also recently issued reports about the company. SunTrust Banks restated a buy rating and set a $115.00 price objective on shares of Cullen/Frost Bankers in a report on Sunday, October 29th. Maxim Group restated a buy rating and set a $110.00 price objective on shares of Cullen/Frost Bankers in a report on Thursday, October 26th. Barclays lifted their price objective on Cullen/Frost Bankers from $106.00 to $110.00 and gave the stock an equal weight rating in a report on Tuesday, January 2nd. Morgan Stanley lifted their price objective on Cullen/Frost Bankers from $96.00 to $107.00 and gave the stock an equal weight rating in a report on Wednesday, December 13th. Finally, ValuEngine downgraded Cullen/Frost Bankers from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report on Thursday, November 9th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, fourteen have issued a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average target price of $104.19.

Shares of Cullen/Frost Bankers (NYSE:CFR) opened at $104.89 on Tuesday. The company has a current ratio of 0.65, a quick ratio of 0.65 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.07. Cullen/Frost Bankers has a twelve month low of $81.09 and a twelve month high of $108.77. The stock has a market capitalization of $6,617.85, a P/E ratio of 19.04, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.73 and a beta of 1.37.

Cullen/Frost Bankers (NYSE:CFR) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, January 25th. The bank reported $1.47 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.39 by $0.08. Cullen/Frost Bankers had a return on equity of 11.78% and a net margin of 29.62%. The company had revenue of $358.69 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $351.34 million. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $1.28 EPS. Cullen/Frost Bankers’s revenue for the quarter was up 6.0% compared to the same quarter last year. equities analysts anticipate that Cullen/Frost Bankers will post 6.32 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Cullen/Frost Bankers announced that its Board of Directors has authorized a share buyback plan on Thursday, October 26th that permits the company to repurchase $150.00 million in shares. This repurchase authorization permits the bank to purchase up to 2.4% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are generally a sign that the company’s management believes its shares are undervalued.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, March 15th. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, February 28th will be issued a $0.57 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, February 27th. This represents a $2.28 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.17%. Cullen/Frost Bankers’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 41.38%.

In other news, insider Annette M. Alonzo sold 4,500 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, January 29th. The stock was sold at an average price of $106.58, for a total value of $479,610.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 3,738 shares in the company, valued at approximately $398,396.04. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, insider Gary C. Mcknight sold 24,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, January 26th. The shares were sold at an average price of $106.32, for a total value of $2,551,680.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 12,844 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,365,574.08. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 63,500 shares of company stock valued at $6,586,930 over the last quarter. Company insiders own 5.15% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Old Mutual Global Investors UK Ltd. bought a new position in Cullen/Frost Bankers during the 4th quarter worth $116,000. Westwood Holdings Group Inc. bought a new position in Cullen/Frost Bankers during the 2nd quarter worth $131,000. Meeder Asset Management Inc. grew its stake in Cullen/Frost Bankers by 50.6% during the 3rd quarter. Meeder Asset Management Inc. now owns 1,580 shares of the bank’s stock worth $150,000 after buying an additional 531 shares during the last quarter. Brown Advisory Inc. bought a new position in Cullen/Frost Bankers during the 3rd quarter worth $212,000. Finally, Wright Investors Service Inc. bought a new position in Cullen/Frost Bankers during the 3rd quarter worth $242,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 80.12% of the company’s stock.

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About Cullen/Frost Bankers

Cullen/Frost Bankers, Inc is a financial holding company and a bank holding company. The Company, through its subsidiaries, provides a range of products and services throughout Texas markets. The Company’s segments include Banking, Frost Wealth Advisors and Non-Banks. The Banking segment includes both commercial and consumer banking services, and Frost Insurance Agency.

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