Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Ally Financial (NYSE:ALLY) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note published on Monday morning, Zacks.com reports.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Ally Financial have outperformed the industry over the past six months. It has an impressive earnings surprise history. The company’s earnings surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate in each of the trailing four quarters. The company’s first-quarter 2019 results benefited from growth in revenues, partly offset by higher expenses and provisions. Initiatives to diversify revenue base, rise in consumer loan demand, higher interest rates and growth in net finance revenues will likely further support the company’s profitability. Further, the company's steady capital deployment activities indicate strong balance sheet position. This will continue to enhance shareholder value. However, mounting expenses (mainly due to expansion strategy) will likely hurt profitability to some extent. Also, the use of high debt remains a major near-term concern as it will likely hurt financials.”

Several other research analysts also recently issued reports on ALLY. BTIG Research boosted their price objective on shares of Ally Financial to $32.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a report on Wednesday, January 23rd. Sandler O’Neill raised shares of Ally Financial from a hold rating to a buy rating and upped their target price for the company from $29.00 to $33.00 in a research note on Tuesday, February 26th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Oppenheimer set a $33.00 target price on shares of Ally Financial and gave the company a buy rating in a research note on Wednesday, April 17th. Morgan Stanley upped their target price on shares of Ally Financial from $30.00 to $32.00 and gave the company an equal weight rating in a research note on Monday, April 22nd. Finally, BMO Capital Markets upped their target price on shares of Ally Financial to $39.00 and gave the company a market perform rating in a research note on Monday, April 22nd. Seven research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eight have assigned a buy rating to the company. The company currently has an average rating of Buy and an average price target of $32.92.

NYSE:ALLY opened at $29.60 on Monday. Ally Financial has a 52-week low of $20.60 and a 52-week high of $30.27. The company has a current ratio of 1.11, a quick ratio of 1.11 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 3.03. The stock has a market cap of $11.67 billion, a PE ratio of 8.86, a P/E/G ratio of 0.58 and a beta of 1.38.

Ally Financial (NYSE:ALLY) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, April 18th. The financial services provider reported $0.80 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.79 by $0.01. Ally Financial had a net margin of 23.12% and a return on equity of 10.90%. The company had revenue of $1.60 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.53 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $0.68 EPS. The business’s revenue was up 13.9% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, research analysts expect that Ally Financial will post 3.62 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, May 15th. Investors of record on Wednesday, May 1st were paid a $0.17 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, April 30th. This represents a $0.68 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.30%. Ally Financial’s payout ratio is currently 20.36%.

Ally Financial announced that its board has authorized a share buyback plan on Monday, April 1st that allows the company to repurchase $1.25 billion in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization allows the financial services provider to buy up to 10.5% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are usually an indication that the company’s leadership believes its stock is undervalued.

In other news, Director Mayree C. Clark acquired 5,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, May 2nd. The shares were purchased at an average cost of $29.71 per share, with a total value of $148,550.00. Following the completion of the purchase, the director now owns 46,248 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,374,028.08. The acquisition was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, CEO Jeffrey Jonathan Brown sold 97,311 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, February 21st. The stock was sold at an average price of $27.01, for a total transaction of $2,628,370.11. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 632,569 shares in the company, valued at $17,085,688.69. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders sold 101,755 shares of company stock worth $2,756,202. 0.35% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

A number of institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of ALLY. Assenagon Asset Management S.A. bought a new stake in Ally Financial during the fourth quarter worth about $1,169,000. IFM Investors Pty Ltd grew its stake in Ally Financial by 3.4% during the fourth quarter. IFM Investors Pty Ltd now owns 27,442 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $622,000 after buying an additional 899 shares during the last quarter. PL Capital Advisors LLC grew its stake in Ally Financial by 11.4% during the fourth quarter. PL Capital Advisors LLC now owns 167,431 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $3,794,000 after buying an additional 17,200 shares during the last quarter. Zweig DiMenna Associates LLC bought a new stake in Ally Financial during the fourth quarter worth about $218,000. Finally, Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank grew its stake in Ally Financial by 1.8% during the fourth quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank now owns 158,761 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $3,598,000 after buying an additional 2,865 shares during the last quarter.

About Ally Financial

Ally Financial Inc provides various financial products and services to consumers, businesses, automotive dealers, and corporate customers primarily in the United States and Canada. It operates through Automotive Finance Operations, Insurance Operations, Mortgage Finance Operations, and Corporate Finance Operations segments.

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