Fifth Third Bancorp (FITB) Upgraded to “Buy” at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Fifth Third Bancorp (NASDAQ:FITB) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report published on Monday. The brokerage currently has $34.00 price objective on the financial services provider’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Fifth Third have outperformed the industry over the past six months. The performance was supported by the company’s decent earnings surprise history. It surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings in two of the trailing four quarters. The company’s ongoing strategic efforts, such as Project North Star, will likely boost its efficiency and revenue over the long run. Also, margin pressure seems to be easing gradually, given the Fed interest rate hikes and improving economic backdrop. However, elevated expenses on the company’s branch digitization initiative and legal issues remain a concern.”

Several other brokerages also recently commented on FITB. BidaskClub raised Fifth Third Bancorp from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note on Friday, December 22nd. Morgan Stanley increased their price objective on Fifth Third Bancorp from $30.00 to $34.00 and gave the stock an equal weight rating in a research note on Wednesday, December 13th. Robert W. Baird reissued a sell rating and issued a $29.00 price objective on shares of Fifth Third Bancorp in a research note on Wednesday, January 3rd. Oppenheimer reissued a hold rating on shares of Fifth Third Bancorp in a research note on Thursday, December 7th. Finally, BMO Capital Markets reissued a hold rating and issued a $32.00 price objective on shares of Fifth Third Bancorp in a research note on Friday, December 8th. Four analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eighteen have issued a hold rating and three have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $29.33.

Fifth Third Bancorp (NASDAQ FITB) traded up $0.28 during mid-day trading on Monday, reaching $31.86. The company had a trading volume of 4,566,188 shares, compared to its average volume of 5,782,349. Fifth Third Bancorp has a fifty-two week low of $23.20 and a fifty-two week high of $31.92. The company has a current ratio of 0.89, a quick ratio of 0.89 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.93. The firm has a market cap of $22,340.00, a P/E ratio of 12.02, a P/E/G ratio of 2.20 and a beta of 1.35.

Fifth Third Bancorp (NASDAQ:FITB) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, October 24th. The financial services provider reported $0.48 earnings per share for the quarter, hitting analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.48. Fifth Third Bancorp had a return on equity of 9.58% and a net margin of 25.81%. The business had revenue of $1.54 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.55 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the business earned $0.65 EPS. equities analysts predict that Fifth Third Bancorp will post 1.79 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, January 16th. Shareholders of record on Friday, December 29th will be issued a dividend of $0.16 per share. This represents a $0.64 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.01%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, December 28th. Fifth Third Bancorp’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 24.15%.

In other Fifth Third Bancorp news, EVP Timothy Spence sold 15,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Thursday, October 26th. The stock was sold at an average price of $28.86, for a total transaction of $432,900.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 154,577 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $4,461,092.22. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. 0.38% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the business. Scotia Capital Inc. grew its holdings in Fifth Third Bancorp by 1.2% during the second quarter. Scotia Capital Inc. now owns 78,139 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $2,028,000 after purchasing an additional 900 shares during the period. Veritable L.P. grew its holdings in Fifth Third Bancorp by 5.5% during the second quarter. Veritable L.P. now owns 20,021 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $520,000 after purchasing an additional 1,042 shares during the period. Hotchkis & Wiley Capital Management LLC grew its holdings in Fifth Third Bancorp by 0.3% during the second quarter. Hotchkis & Wiley Capital Management LLC now owns 346,050 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $8,983,000 after purchasing an additional 1,100 shares during the period. Hugh Johnson Advisors LLC grew its holdings in Fifth Third Bancorp by 10.1% during the second quarter. Hugh Johnson Advisors LLC now owns 14,324 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $372,000 after purchasing an additional 1,319 shares during the period. Finally, Mn Services Vermogensbeheer B.V. grew its holdings in Fifth Third Bancorp by 1.6% during the third quarter. Mn Services Vermogensbeheer B.V. now owns 123,778 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $3,463,000 after purchasing an additional 1,900 shares during the period. 83.84% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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Fifth Third Bancorp Company Profile

Fifth Third Bancorp is a bank holding company and a financial holding company. The Company conducts its principal lending, deposit gathering, transaction processing and service advisory activities through its banking and non-banking subsidiaries from banking centers located throughout the Midwestern and Southeastern regions of the United States.

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