Zacks Investment Research Downgrades Fifth Third Bancorp (FITB) to Hold


Fifth Third Bancorp (NASDAQ:FITB) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “strong-buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report issued on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Fifth Third have outperformed the industry over the past six months. Also, the company has an impressive earnings surprise history, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate in three of the trailing four quarters. The company’s ongoing strategic efforts, such as Project North Star, will likely boost its efficiency and revenues over the long run. Recently, Fifth Third entered into stock-cash acquisition deal with MB Financial for a total value of $4.7 billion, expanding in Chicago. Also, margin pressure seems to be easing gradually due to the Fed’s interest rate hikes and improving economic backdrop. Further, Fifth Third's improving credit quality remains a tailwind. However, elevated expenses on the company’s branch digitization initiative and legal issues remain concerns.”


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A number of other research firms have also recently issued reports on FITB. Morgan Stanley raised their price objective on Fifth Third Bancorp from $35.00 to $35.50 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a research report on Monday, April 30th. BidaskClub raised Fifth Third Bancorp from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a research report on Friday, April 27th. Nomura raised their price objective on Fifth Third Bancorp from $35.00 to $36.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research report on Wednesday, April 25th. Susquehanna Bancshares set a $36.00 price objective on Fifth Third Bancorp and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, April 24th. Finally, Vining Sparks reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $37.00 price objective on shares of Fifth Third Bancorp in a research report on Friday, April 6th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twenty have assigned a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the stock. Fifth Third Bancorp has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $32.07.


Shares of FITB traded down $0.43 during mid-day trading on Tuesday, reaching $29.63. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 251,767 shares, compared to its average volume of 6,388,877. Fifth Third Bancorp has a 1-year low of $24.59 and a 1-year high of $34.67. The stock has a market cap of $20.63 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 11.06, a PEG ratio of 1.54 and a beta of 1.27. The company has a quick ratio of 0.88, a current ratio of 0.89 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.00.

Fifth Third Bancorp (NASDAQ:FITB) last released its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, April 24th. The financial services provider reported $0.97 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.48 by $0.49. Fifth Third Bancorp had a return on equity of 10.45% and a net margin of 30.14%. The company had revenue of $1.55 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.55 billion. During the same period last year, the firm posted $0.38 earnings per share. The business’s revenue was up 5.2% on a year-over-year basis. analysts expect that Fifth Third Bancorp will post 2.48 earnings per share for the current year.


Fifth Third Bancorp announced that its board has authorized a stock buyback program on Tuesday, February 27th that permits the company to buyback 100,000,000 shares. This buyback authorization permits the financial services provider to purchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are generally an indication that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.

A number of institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of FITB. Icon Wealth Partners LLC bought a new position in Fifth Third Bancorp during the 4th quarter worth $101,000. Delpha Capital Management LLC bought a new position in Fifth Third Bancorp during the 4th quarter worth $107,000. Well Done LLC bought a new position in Fifth Third Bancorp during the 1st quarter worth $114,000. Summit Trail Advisors LLC increased its stake in Fifth Third Bancorp by 3,223.6% during the 1st quarter. Summit Trail Advisors LLC now owns 127,661 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $128,000 after acquiring an additional 123,820 shares during the period. Finally, Point72 Asia Hong Kong Ltd bought a new position in Fifth Third Bancorp during the 1st quarter worth $181,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 81.99% of the company’s stock.


About Fifth Third Bancorp

Fifth Third Bancorp operates as a diversified financial services company in the United States. The company's Commercial Banking segment offers credit intermediation, cash management, and financial services; lending and depository products; and cash management, foreign exchange and international trade finance, derivatives and capital markets services, asset-based lending, real estate finance, public finance, commercial leasing, and syndicated finance for business, government, and professional customers.

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Analyst Recommendations for Fifth Third Bancorp (NASDAQ:FITB)

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