Northern Trust Co. (NASDAQ:NTRS) gapped down before the market opened on Thursday after the company announced weaker than expected quarterly earnings. The stock had previously closed at $95.76, but opened at $94.21. Northern Trust shares last traded at $93.96, with a volume of 69510 shares trading hands.

The asset manager reported $1.58 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.61 by ($0.03). Northern Trust had a return on equity of 15.02% and a net margin of 22.88%. The firm had revenue of $1.48 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.52 billion. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $1.20 earnings per share. The company’s revenue was up 9.4% compared to the same quarter last year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, January 1st. Stockholders of record on Friday, December 14th will be paid a dividend of $0.55 per share. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, December 13th. This represents a $2.20 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.36%. Northern Trust’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 45.55%.

Northern Trust declared that its Board of Directors has initiated a share repurchase program on Tuesday, July 17th that permits the company to buyback 25,000,000 outstanding shares. This buyback authorization permits the asset manager to purchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are usually an indication that the company’s leadership believes its stock is undervalued.

NTRS has been the topic of a number of recent analyst reports. Morgan Stanley boosted their price target on shares of Northern Trust from $110.00 to $117.00 and gave the stock a “$108.44” rating in a research note on Thursday, July 19th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Northern Trust from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $124.00 price target on the stock in a research note on Friday, July 20th. Vining Sparks reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $130.00 price target on shares of Northern Trust in a research note on Monday, July 23rd. UBS Group boosted their price target on shares of Northern Trust from $124.00 to $125.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, October 8th. Finally, Deutsche Bank upgraded shares of Northern Trust from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $112.00 price target on the stock in a research note on Thursday. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have given a hold rating, eight have given a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company. Northern Trust currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $117.00.

In other Northern Trust news, COO Jana R. Schreuder sold 9,699 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, August 6th. The shares were sold at an average price of $110.00, for a total transaction of $1,066,890.00. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, CFO Biff Bowman sold 21,352 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, August 9th. The stock was sold at an average price of $111.11, for a total transaction of $2,372,420.72. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 67,864 shares of company stock worth $7,533,831 over the last 90 days. 1.04% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of NTRS. Migdal Insurance & Financial Holdings Ltd. grew its position in Northern Trust by 8,671.4% during the second quarter. Migdal Insurance & Financial Holdings Ltd. now owns 1,228 shares of the asset manager’s stock worth $126,000 after buying an additional 1,214 shares during the period. Delta Asset Management LLC TN acquired a new position in Northern Trust during the second quarter worth about $145,000. Qube Research & Technologies Ltd lifted its holdings in shares of Northern Trust by 64.2% in the second quarter. Qube Research & Technologies Ltd now owns 1,813 shares of the asset manager’s stock valued at $187,000 after purchasing an additional 709 shares in the last quarter. GWM Advisors LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Northern Trust in the second quarter valued at about $215,000. Finally, Exane Derivatives purchased a new stake in shares of Northern Trust in the second quarter valued at about $220,000. Institutional investors own 77.99% of the company’s stock.

The firm has a market cap of $22.80 billion, a PE ratio of 19.64, a PEG ratio of 1.19 and a beta of 0.94. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.34, a quick ratio of 0.66 and a current ratio of 0.66.

Northern Trust Company Profile (NASDAQ:NTRS)

Northern Trust Corporation, a financial holding company, provides asset servicing, fund administration, asset management, fiduciary, and banking solutions for corporations, institutions, families, and individuals worldwide. It operates through Corporate & Institutional Services (C&IS) and Wealth Management segments.

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