Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Synchrony Financial (NYSE:SYF) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report sent to investors on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “Synchrony Financial’s concerted efforts in forging alliances and effecting consolidations are likely to drive the shares going forward. Moreover, its Retail Card platform has consistently performed well over the last several quarters. Its steady capital position also impresses. However, shares of Synchrony Financial’s have lost more than its industry’s decline in a year’s time. The company has been witnessing a steep rise in expenses since 2013, which has been weighing on its bottom line. Its high allowance for loss remains another concern.”

Several other research firms also recently commented on SYF. BMO Capital Markets upped their price objective on Synchrony Financial from $37.00 to $40.00 and gave the company an outperform rating in a research note on Monday, October 22nd. ValuEngine downgraded Synchrony Financial from a sell rating to a strong sell rating in a research note on Friday, November 2nd. Stephens upgraded Synchrony Financial from an underweight rating to an equal weight rating in a research note on Thursday, January 3rd. Oppenheimer upgraded Synchrony Financial from a market perform rating to an outperform rating and set a $43.00 price objective on the stock in a research note on Thursday, January 24th. Finally, Barclays upped their price objective on Synchrony Financial to $35.00 and gave the company an equal weight rating in a research note on Thursday, January 24th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have assigned a hold rating and nine have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has an average rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $37.71.

SYF stock opened at $29.94 on Tuesday. The company has a market capitalization of $21.52 billion, a PE ratio of 8.01, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 0.77 and a beta of 1.27. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.63, a current ratio of 1.41 and a quick ratio of 1.40. Synchrony Financial has a 12-month low of $21.77 and a 12-month high of $38.07.

Synchrony Financial (NYSE:SYF) last released its earnings results on Wednesday, January 23rd. The financial services provider reported $1.09 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.93 by $0.16. The company had revenue of $4.40 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $4.25 billion. Synchrony Financial had a return on equity of 19.41% and a net margin of 15.45%. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $0.70 earnings per share. Analysts anticipate that Synchrony Financial will post 4.35 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, February 14th. Shareholders of record on Monday, February 4th will be given a dividend of $0.21 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, February 1st. This represents a $0.84 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.81%. Synchrony Financial’s dividend payout ratio is currently 22.46%.

In other Synchrony Financial news, insider David P. Melito sold 3,204 shares of the stock in a transaction on Thursday, January 24th. The stock was sold at an average price of $30.00, for a total transaction of $96,120.00. Following the sale, the insider now owns 40,313 shares in the company, valued at $1,209,390. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, insider David P. Melito sold 3,934 shares of the stock in a transaction on Thursday, January 31st. The stock was sold at an average price of $30.00, for a total value of $118,020.00. Following the sale, the insider now owns 29,486 shares in the company, valued at approximately $884,580. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 0.07% of the company’s stock.

Several large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the business. FMR LLC lifted its position in shares of Synchrony Financial by 1.1% during the third quarter. FMR LLC now owns 50,346,639 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $1,564,774,000 after acquiring an additional 563,203 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. raised its position in shares of Synchrony Financial by 3.3% in the fourth quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 46,496,604 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $1,090,810,000 after buying an additional 1,503,876 shares in the last quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC raised its position in shares of Synchrony Financial by 7.7% in the third quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 18,623,457 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $578,816,000 after buying an additional 1,334,141 shares in the last quarter. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company raised its position in shares of Synchrony Financial by 94.6% in the third quarter. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company now owns 7,548,840 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $234,618,000 after buying an additional 3,669,660 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Clearbridge Investments LLC raised its position in shares of Synchrony Financial by 4.0% in the third quarter. Clearbridge Investments LLC now owns 6,874,239 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $213,651,000 after buying an additional 264,003 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 83.94% of the company’s stock.

Synchrony Financial Company Profile

Synchrony Financial operates as a consumer financial services company in the United States. The company offers private label credit cards, dual cards, general purpose co-branded credit cards, and small and medium-sized business credit products; and promotional financing for consumer purchases, such as private label credit cards and installment loans.

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