Westpac Banking (WBK) Upgraded by Zacks Investment Research to Hold

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Westpac Banking (NYSE:WBK) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report released on Friday morning.

According to Zacks, “Westpac Banking Corp. provides a broad range of banking and financial services. The company offers general banking services to retail, commercial, and institutional customers and provides investment management and insurance. For institutional and international clients, Westpac provides working capital loans, trade financing, foreign currency loans, leveraged leasing, project finance loans, and interest rate and currency products. “

Several other equities analysts also recently commented on the stock. Macquarie downgraded shares of Westpac Banking from an outperform rating to a neutral rating in a report on Friday, August 17th. Deutsche Bank downgraded shares of Westpac Banking from a buy rating to a sell rating in a report on Monday, November 26th. Finally, Citigroup upgraded shares of Westpac Banking from a neutral rating to a buy rating in a report on Tuesday, November 6th. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have issued a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $25.00.

Shares of NYSE:WBK traded down $0.26 on Friday, hitting $18.41. The company had a trading volume of 536,422 shares, compared to its average volume of 356,002. Westpac Banking has a 1-year low of $18.22 and a 1-year high of $25.59. The company has a market cap of $63.48 billion, a P/E ratio of 10.58, a P/E/G ratio of 5.55 and a beta of 1.24. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.67, a current ratio of 1.26 and a quick ratio of 1.26.

The firm also recently declared a special dividend, which will be paid on Monday, December 31st. Investors of record on Tuesday, November 13th will be paid a $0.6766 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, November 9th. This represents a dividend yield of 7.09%. Westpac Banking’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 77.01%.

Several hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Signaturefd LLC grew its stake in shares of Westpac Banking by 28.2% in the second quarter. Signaturefd LLC now owns 12,394 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $269,000 after acquiring an additional 2,728 shares in the last quarter. Gilman Hill Asset Management LLC grew its stake in shares of Westpac Banking by 5.0% in the third quarter. Gilman Hill Asset Management LLC now owns 64,465 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $1,290,000 after acquiring an additional 3,055 shares in the last quarter. Advisor Partners LLC grew its stake in shares of Westpac Banking by 19.2% in the third quarter. Advisor Partners LLC now owns 20,779 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $416,000 after acquiring an additional 3,344 shares in the last quarter. Assetmark Inc. grew its stake in Westpac Banking by 6.5% during the third quarter. Assetmark Inc. now owns 54,991 shares of the bank’s stock worth $1,100,000 after buying an additional 3,368 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Martin Capital Partners LLC grew its stake in Westpac Banking by 3.4% during the third quarter. Martin Capital Partners LLC now owns 112,598 shares of the bank’s stock worth $2,253,000 after buying an additional 3,698 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 0.54% of the company’s stock.

Westpac Banking Company Profile

Westpac Banking Corporation provides various banking and financial services in Australia, New Zealand, Asia, the Pacific region, and internationally. It operates through five divisions: Consumer Bank, Business Bank, BT Financial Group, Westpac Institutional Bank, and Westpac New Zealand. It offers everyday banking, savings, term deposit, moving to Australia, under 21 and student, business one, community solutions one, not-for-profit savings, and foreign currency accounts; term and farm management deposits; debit, credit, and travel money cards; home, personal, investment, small business, and commercial loans; and equipment, automotive, cash flow, property, insurance premium, corporate and structured finance, and trade and supply chain financing services.

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