Investors Buy Shares of Wells Fargo & Co (WFC) on Weakness on Analyst Downgrade

Traders bought shares of Wells Fargo & Co (NYSE:WFC) on weakness during trading on Tuesday after Zacks Investment Research downgraded the stock from a buy rating to a hold rating. $966.30 million flowed into the stock on the tick-up and $745.45 million flowed out of the stock on the tick-down, for a money net flow of $220.85 million into the stock. Of all stocks tracked, Wells Fargo & Co had the 3rd highest net in-flow for the day. Wells Fargo & Co traded down ($0.88) for the day and closed at $57.28

Several other equities analysts have also commented on WFC. Vetr upgraded Wells Fargo & Co from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $54.49 target price for the company in a research note on Tuesday, October 24th. UBS Group set a $63.00 price target on Wells Fargo & Co and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday, February 5th. Vertical Group upgraded Wells Fargo & Co from a “sell” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, December 7th. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods lowered Wells Fargo & Co from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating and set a $63.00 price target for the company. in a research note on Sunday, February 4th. Finally, BMO Capital Markets restated a “hold” rating and set a $60.00 price target on shares of Wells Fargo & Co in a research note on Monday, February 5th. Six equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have assigned a hold rating and thirteen have given a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $62.90.

In other news, VP Richard Levy sold 97,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, November 30th. The stock was sold at an average price of $56.47, for a total value of $5,477,590.00. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, Director Ronald Sargent bought 9,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, February 12th. The stock was bought at an average cost of $55.98 per share, with a total value of $503,820.00. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 81 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $4,534.38. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Insiders sold 184,482 shares of company stock valued at $10,471,050 in the last ninety days. Company insiders own 0.22% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Rockland Trust Co. boosted its holdings in Wells Fargo & Co by 0.6% in the second quarter. Rockland Trust Co. now owns 316,530 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $17,539,000 after purchasing an additional 1,856 shares during the last quarter. Heartland Advisors Inc. raised its stake in Wells Fargo & Co by 3.9% during the second quarter. Heartland Advisors Inc. now owns 272,548 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $15,102,000 after buying an additional 10,318 shares in the last quarter. Carret Asset Management LLC raised its stake in Wells Fargo & Co by 2.8% during the third quarter. Carret Asset Management LLC now owns 53,814 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $2,968,000 after buying an additional 1,446 shares in the last quarter. Personal Capital Advisors Corp raised its stake in Wells Fargo & Co by 5.0% during the third quarter. Personal Capital Advisors Corp now owns 554,429 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $30,577,000 after buying an additional 26,614 shares in the last quarter. Finally, New Jersey Better Educational Savings Trust raised its stake in Wells Fargo & Co by 10.0% during the second quarter. New Jersey Better Educational Savings Trust now owns 33,000 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $1,829,000 after buying an additional 3,000 shares in the last quarter. 76.00% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

The firm has a market cap of $294,180.00, a P/E ratio of 14.46, a PEG ratio of 1.52 and a beta of 1.01. The company has a current ratio of 0.90, a quick ratio of 0.88 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.23.

Wells Fargo & Co (NYSE:WFC) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Friday, January 12th. The financial services provider reported $0.97 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.04 by ($0.07). Wells Fargo & Co had a net margin of 22.57% and a return on equity of 12.24%. The firm had revenue of $22.05 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $22.64 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company earned $0.96 EPS. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 2.2% compared to the same quarter last year. analysts forecast that Wells Fargo & Co will post 4.72 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, March 1st. Shareholders of record on Friday, February 2nd will be paid a dividend of $0.39 per share. This represents a $1.56 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.61%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, February 1st. Wells Fargo & Co’s payout ratio is currently 37.77%.

Wells Fargo & Co announced that its Board of Directors has initiated a stock buyback plan on Tuesday, January 23rd that permits the company to buyback 350,000,000 outstanding shares. This buyback authorization permits the financial services provider to buy shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback plans are typically a sign that the company’s leadership believes its stock is undervalued.

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Wells Fargo & Co Company Profile

Wells Fargo & Company is a bank holding company. The Company is a diversified financial services company. It has three operating segments: Community Banking, Wholesale Banking, and Wealth and Investment Management. The Company offers its services under three categories: personal, small business and commercial.

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