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 Tuesday morning. Zacks Investment Research currently has $28.00 price target on the financial services provider’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Fifth Third have underperformed the industry over the past six months. While estimates ahead of fourth-quarter 2018 earnings have remained stable lately, the company displays an impressive earnings surprise history, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate in all 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. Also, margin pressure seems to be easing gradually due to the Fed’s interest rate hikes and improving economic backdrop. However, elevated expenses on the company’s branch digitization initiative and legal issues remain headwinds. Also, significant exposure to commercial loans remains a concern. Nevertheless, its steady capital deployment activities keep us encouraged.”

A number of other equities analysts have also recently weighed in on the stock. BidaskClub cut shares of Fifth Third Bancorp from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report on Thursday, December 13th. Nomura raised shares of Fifth Third Bancorp from a reduce rating to a neutral rating and cut their price objective for the company from $32.00 to $29.00 in a research report on Wednesday, October 24th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Wedbush set a $34.00 price objective on shares of Fifth Third Bancorp and gave the company a buy rating in a research report on Thursday, September 20th. Piper Jaffray Companies set a $31.00 price objective on shares of Fifth Third Bancorp and gave the company a hold rating in a research report on Monday, October 29th. Finally, Morgan Stanley cut their price objective on shares of Fifth Third Bancorp from $35.50 to $33.00 and set an equal weight rating on the stock in a research report on Tuesday, September 18th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, thirteen have assigned a hold rating and six have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $31.75.



Shares of NASDAQ FITB opened at $25.06 on Tuesday. The firm has a market cap of $16.42 billion, a PE ratio of 9.35, a PEG ratio of 1.28 and a beta of 1.24. Fifth Third Bancorp has a twelve month low of $22.12 and a twelve month high of $34.67. The company has a current ratio of 0.89, a quick ratio of 0.88 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.00.

Fifth Third Bancorp (NASDAQ:FITB) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, October 23rd. The financial services provider reported $0.64 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.63 by $0.01. The company had revenue of $1.61 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.63 billion. Fifth Third Bancorp had a net margin of 28.89% and a return on equity of 11.74%. During the same period last year, the firm posted $1.35 earnings per share. As a group, equities analysts anticipate that Fifth Third Bancorp will post 2.55 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, January 15th. Shareholders of record on Monday, December 31st will be paid a $0.22 dividend. This is a positive change from Fifth Third Bancorp’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.18. This represents a $0.88 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.51%. The ex-dividend date is Friday, December 28th. Fifth Third Bancorp’s payout ratio is presently 32.84%.

Hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the business. Rational Advisors LLC increased its stake in Fifth Third Bancorp by 244.7% in the 3rd quarter. Rational Advisors LLC now owns 3,588 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $100,000 after buying an additional 2,547 shares during the last quarter. Centaurus Financial Inc. acquired a new stake in Fifth Third Bancorp in the 2nd quarter valued at $131,000. Migdal Insurance & Financial Holdings Ltd. increased its stake in shares of Fifth Third Bancorp by 79.1% during the 3rd quarter. Migdal Insurance & Financial Holdings Ltd. now owns 7,128 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $199,000 after purchasing an additional 3,148 shares during the last quarter. Private Advisor Group LLC acquired a new position in shares of Fifth Third Bancorp during the 3rd quarter worth about $210,000. Finally, Cozad Asset Management Inc. acquired a new position in shares of Fifth Third Bancorp during the 2nd quarter worth about $211,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 81.85% of the company’s stock.

Fifth Third Bancorp Company Profile

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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