Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Ally Financial (NYSE:ALLY) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report sent to investors on Wednesday morning, Zacks.com reports. Zacks Investment Research currently has $33.00 price objective on the financial services provider’s stock.
According to Zacks, “Shares of Ally Financial have outperformed the industry over the past six months. The company’s earnings surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate in each of the trailing four quarters. The company’s first-quarter 2019 results benefited from growth in revenues, partly offset by higher expenses and provisions. Initiatives to diversify revenue base, rise in consumer loan demand, higher interest rates and growth in net finance revenues will likely further support the company’s profitability. While mounting expenses (mainly due to expansion strategy) and the use of high debt remain major near-term concerns for the company and will likely hurt financials, its steady capital deployment actions reflect strong balance sheet position. This will continue to enhance shareholder value.”
A number of other brokerages have also commented on ALLY. BMO Capital Markets raised their target price on shares of Ally Financial to $39.00 and gave the stock a market perform rating in a research report on Monday, April 22nd. Morgan Stanley raised their target price on shares of Ally Financial from $30.00 to $32.00 and gave the stock an equal weight rating in a research report on Monday, April 22nd. Oppenheimer set a $33.00 target price on shares of Ally Financial and gave the stock a buy rating in a research report on Wednesday, April 17th. Sandler O’Neill raised shares of Ally Financial from a hold rating to a buy rating and raised their target price for the stock from $29.00 to $33.00 in a research report on Tuesday, February 26th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Finally, BTIG Research assumed coverage on shares of Ally Financial in a research report on Thursday, January 24th. Six research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and nine have assigned a buy rating to the stock. Ally Financial has a consensus rating of Buy and an average price target of $32.92.
Ally Financial (NYSE:ALLY) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, April 18th. The financial services provider reported $0.80 EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.79 by $0.01. The business had revenue of $1.60 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.53 billion. Ally Financial had a net margin of 23.12% and a return on equity of 10.90%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 13.9% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the company posted $0.68 earnings per share. Equities research analysts predict that Ally Financial will post 3.62 EPS for the current fiscal year.
Ally Financial declared that its board has initiated a share buyback plan on Monday, April 1st that allows the company to buyback $1.25 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization allows the financial services provider to purchase up to 10.5% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback plans are typically an indication that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.
The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, May 15th. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, May 1st were paid a dividend of $0.17 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Tuesday, April 30th. This represents a $0.68 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.29%. Ally Financial’s dividend payout ratio is presently 20.36%.
In other news, Director Mayree C. Clark bought 5,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Thursday, May 2nd. The stock was bought at an average cost of $29.71 per share, for a total transaction of $148,550.00. Following the completion of the purchase, the director now directly owns 46,248 shares in the company, valued at $1,374,028.08. The acquisition was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, CEO Jeffrey Jonathan Brown sold 97,311 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, February 21st. The shares were sold at an average price of $27.01, for a total transaction of $2,628,370.11. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 632,569 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $17,085,688.69. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders have sold 101,755 shares of company stock worth $2,756,202. Insiders own 0.35% of the company’s stock.
A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the business. Jane Street Group LLC boosted its stake in Ally Financial by 355.9% in the first quarter. Jane Street Group LLC now owns 35,564 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $978,000 after acquiring an additional 49,463 shares in the last quarter. BlueCrest Capital Management Ltd acquired a new stake in Ally Financial in the first quarter valued at approximately $393,000. HighTower Advisors LLC boosted its stake in Ally Financial by 79.6% in the first quarter. HighTower Advisors LLC now owns 145,813 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $4,017,000 after acquiring an additional 64,619 shares in the last quarter. Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services Inc. boosted its stake in Ally Financial by 18.9% in the first quarter. Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services Inc. now owns 9,220 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $254,000 after acquiring an additional 1,465 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Schonfeld Strategic Advisors LLC acquired a new stake in Ally Financial in the first quarter valued at approximately $2,041,000.
About Ally Financial
Ally Financial Inc provides various financial products and services to consumers, businesses, automotive dealers, and corporate customers primarily in the United States and Canada. It operates through Automotive Finance Operations, Insurance Operations, Mortgage Finance Operations, and Corporate Finance Operations segments.
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