Zacks Investment Research Downgrades Wells Fargo & Co. (WFC) to Sell
Wells Fargo & Co. (NYSE:WFC) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report issued on Tuesday.
According to Zacks, “Wells Fargo’s troubles continue to deepen following its $190-million settlement to resolve regulators’ claims of illegally opening millions of unauthorized accounts. The company currently faces huge criticism as the bank’s employees resorted to unethical sales practices to meet their aggressive internal sales targets. The bank has terminated the concerned employees and is taking necessary steps to address the issue. However, the fallout from the scam does not only include potential lawsuits and further probes but also tarnishes the reputation of one of the largest banks of the nation. While the company’s growth profile remains well positioned, given its strong geographic footprint and solid business mix, the low interest rate environment continues to weigh on margin.”
A number of other equities analysts have also recently issued reports on WFC. Credit Agricole SA reaffirmed an “outperform” rating and issued a $57.00 price objective on shares of Wells Fargo & Co. in a research note on Tuesday. Morgan Stanley raised shares of Wells Fargo & Co. from an “equal weight” rating to an “overweight” rating and reduced their price objective for the company from $56.00 to $53.00 in a research note on Tuesday. Vetr raised shares of Wells Fargo & Co. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $47.92 price objective on the stock in a research note on Monday. Bank of America Corp. set a $50.00 price objective on shares of Wells Fargo & Co. and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday. Finally, Oppenheimer Holdings Inc. reaffirmed a “market perform” rating on shares of Wells Fargo & Co. in a research note on Monday. Seven equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have assigned a hold rating and nineteen have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. Wells Fargo & Co. has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $51.93.
Wells Fargo & Co. (NYSE:WFC) opened at 45.83 on Tuesday. The firm has a market capitalization of $231.24 billion, a P/E ratio of 11.32 and a beta of 0.90. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $48.39 and its 200 day moving average price is $48.61. Wells Fargo & Co. has a 12 month low of $44.50 and a 12 month high of $56.34.
Wells Fargo & Co. (NYSE:WFC) last released its quarterly earnings results on Friday, July 15th. The financial services provider reported $1.01 EPS for the quarter, meeting the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.01. Wells Fargo & Co. had a net margin of 24.33% and a return on equity of 12.95%. The business had revenue of $22.20 billion for the quarter. During the same period last year, the company earned $1.03 earnings per share. Wells Fargo & Co.’s revenue for the quarter was up 4.0% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, analysts forecast that Wells Fargo & Co. will post $4.02 earnings per share for the current year.
The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, September 1st. Stockholders of record on Friday, August 5th were given a $0.38 dividend. This represents a $1.52 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.32%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, August 3rd. Wells Fargo & Co.’s payout ratio is presently 37.25%.
In other news, COO Timothy J. Sloan sold 20,500 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, August 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $48.92, for a total value of $1,002,860.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief operating officer now directly owns 650,815 shares in the company, valued at approximately $31,837,869.80. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. 0.29% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.
Several institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Carnick & Kubik Group LLC bought a new position in Wells Fargo & Co. during the second quarter worth about $1,032,000. Williams Jones & Associates LLC boosted its position in Wells Fargo & Co. by 19.5% in the second quarter. Williams Jones & Associates LLC now owns 142,310 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $6,736,000 after buying an additional 23,267 shares in the last quarter. Kentucky Retirement Systems Insurance Trust Fund bought a new position in Wells Fargo & Co. during the second quarter worth about $8,829,000. Kentucky Retirement Systems bought a new position in Wells Fargo & Co. during the second quarter worth about $18,595,000. Finally, Mason Street Advisors LLC bought a new position in Wells Fargo & Co. during the second quarter worth about $29,454,000. Institutional investors own 73.98% of the company’s stock.
About Wells Fargo & Co.
Wells Fargo & Company is a bank holding company. The Company is a financial services company, which offers banking, insurance, trust and investments, mortgage banking, investment banking, retail banking, brokerage, and consumer and commercial finance. It has three operating segments: Community Banking, Wholesale Banking, and Wealth and Investment Management.
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