Citizens Financial Group, Inc. (CFG) Rating Lowered to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

Citizens Financial Group, Inc. (NYSE:CFG) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued to investors on Wednesday.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Citizens Financial have outperformed the industry over the last three months. This performance was supported by the company’s impressive earnings surprise history. It surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings in all the trailing four quarters. Citizens Financial’s third-quarter results benefited from easing margin pressure and higher loan balance which aided higher revenues. The company remains on track to implement TOP III efficiency initiatives, which are expected to boost earnings further. It also launched TOP IV initiatives which are anticipated to achieve pre-tax benefit of $95-$110 million by the end of 2018. Further, it continues to benefit from improving loans and deposit balances, and is well positioned to grow as the U.S. economy is gaining traction. However, significant exposure to commercial loans remains a major concern. Also, its bottom line continues to remain under pressure due to pending legal cases.”

A number of other equities analysts have also recently commented on CFG. Deutsche Bank AG restated a “hold” rating on shares of Citizens Financial Group in a report on Wednesday, July 5th. BidaskClub upgraded Citizens Financial Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Saturday, July 8th. BMO Capital Markets restated a “market perform” rating and set a $39.00 target price (up from $38.00) on shares of Citizens Financial Group in a report on Tuesday, July 25th. TheStreet upgraded Citizens Financial Group from a “c” rating to a “b-” rating in a report on Monday, August 7th. Finally, Keefe, Bruyette & Woods set a $40.00 target price on Citizens Financial Group and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, August 11th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have issued a hold rating and six have issued a buy rating to the company. The company has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $38.60.

Citizens Financial Group (NYSE:CFG) last announced its earnings results on Friday, October 20th. The bank reported $0.68 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.64 by $0.04. Citizens Financial Group had a return on equity of 6.44% and a net margin of 20.26%. The company had revenue of $1.44 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.43 billion. During the same period last year, the business posted $0.52 EPS. Citizens Financial Group’s revenue for the quarter was up 4.6% on a year-over-year basis.

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Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in CFG. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund raised its position in shares of Citizens Financial Group by 1.6% during the 3rd quarter. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund now owns 240,504 shares of the bank’s stock worth $9,108,000 after acquiring an additional 3,841 shares in the last quarter. Boston Partners raised its position in shares of Citizens Financial Group by 90.2% during the 3rd quarter. Boston Partners now owns 774,315 shares of the bank’s stock worth $29,323,000 after acquiring an additional 367,306 shares in the last quarter. Daiwa Securities Group Inc. raised its position in shares of Citizens Financial Group by 34.1% during the 3rd quarter. Daiwa Securities Group Inc. now owns 26,485 shares of the bank’s stock worth $1,003,000 after acquiring an additional 6,735 shares in the last quarter. State of Wisconsin Investment Board raised its position in shares of Citizens Financial Group by 273.8% during the 3rd quarter. State of Wisconsin Investment Board now owns 805,073 shares of the bank’s stock worth $30,488,000 after acquiring an additional 589,684 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Mitsubishi UFJ Kokusai Asset Management Co. Ltd. raised its position in shares of Citizens Financial Group by 2.1% during the 3rd quarter. Mitsubishi UFJ Kokusai Asset Management Co. Ltd. now owns 79,799 shares of the bank’s stock worth $3,022,000 after acquiring an additional 1,616 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 96.52% of the company’s stock.

About Citizens Financial Group

Citizens Financial Group, Inc is a retail bank holding company. The Company operates through two segments: Consumer Banking and Commercial Banking. Its Consumer Banking serves retail customers and small businesses. Consumer Banking products and services include deposit products, mortgage and home equity lending, auto financing, student loans, personal unsecured lines and loans, credit cards, business loans, wealth management and investment services.

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