Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of CIT Group (NYSE:CIT) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research report report published on Monday.

According to Zacks, “Shares of CIT Group have outperformed the industry over the past year. The company surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings in three of the trailing four quarters. Its third quarter 2018 results reflect higher non-interest income and fall in costs. The company's business streamlining initiatives, improving economy, and rise in demand for financing of inventories and capital equipment will continue to support profitability. Moreover, steady capital deployments indicate strong balance sheet. However, mounting operating expenses will likely hamper the company's bottom-line growth. Also, worsening credit quality will likely hurt its financials. Further, sluggish growth in the industries where CIT Group provides finance remains a key concern.”

A number of other brokerages have also recently issued reports on CIT. Stephens cut shares of CIT Group from an overweight rating to an equal weight rating and set a $60.00 target price on the stock. in a report on Monday, August 27th. BMO Capital Markets cut their target price on shares of CIT Group from $46.00 to $44.00 and set a market perform rating on the stock in a report on Wednesday, July 25th. Morgan Stanley cut their target price on shares of CIT Group from $58.00 to $57.50 and set an equal weight rating on the stock in a report on Tuesday, September 18th. ValuEngine cut shares of CIT Group from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report on Monday, October 22nd. Finally, TheStreet cut CIT Group from a b rating to a c rating in a report on Thursday, November 15th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have assigned a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average target price of $54.29.

Shares of NYSE CIT opened at $44.79 on Monday. The company has a current ratio of 1.02, a quick ratio of 1.02 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.45. CIT Group has a 52-week low of $43.80 and a 52-week high of $56.14. The stock has a market capitalization of $4.79 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 14.59, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.14 and a beta of 1.30.

CIT Group (NYSE:CIT) last issued its earnings results on Tuesday, October 23rd. The financial services provider reported $1.15 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.14 by $0.01. CIT Group had a net margin of 8.00% and a return on equity of 7.58%. The firm had revenue of $476.00 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $475.48 million. During the same quarter last year, the company posted $1.42 earnings per share. CIT Group’s revenue was up 2.6% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, analysts anticipate that CIT Group will post 3.98 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, November 27th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, November 13th will be issued a dividend of $0.25 per share. The ex-dividend date is Friday, November 9th. This represents a $1.00 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.23%. CIT Group’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 32.57%.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. KBC Group NV raised its holdings in shares of CIT Group by 17.3% during the second quarter. KBC Group NV now owns 8,046 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $406,000 after buying an additional 1,184 shares during the last quarter. Vident Investment Advisory LLC raised its holdings in shares of CIT Group by 2.1% during the second quarter. Vident Investment Advisory LLC now owns 69,217 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $3,489,000 after buying an additional 1,433 shares during the last quarter. Virginia Retirement Systems ET AL raised its holdings in shares of CIT Group by 1.6% during the third quarter. Virginia Retirement Systems ET AL now owns 130,200 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $6,720,000 after buying an additional 2,000 shares during the last quarter. FDx Advisors Inc. raised its holdings in shares of CIT Group by 22.9% during the third quarter. FDx Advisors Inc. now owns 11,527 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $595,000 after buying an additional 2,147 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank raised its holdings in shares of CIT Group by 11.6% during the third quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank now owns 21,843 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $1,127,000 after buying an additional 2,268 shares during the last quarter.

CIT Group Company Profile

CIT Group Inc operates as the bank holding company for CIT Bank, National Association that provides banking and related services to commercial and individual customers. The company operates through three segments: Commercial Banking, Consumer Banking, and Non-Strategic Portfolios (NSP). The Commercial Banking segment offers lending, leasing, and other financial and advisory services primarily to small and middle-market companies; factoring, receivables management products, and secured supply chain financing; and equipment leasing and secured financing to railroads and non-rail companies.

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