Traders Buy Wells Fargo & Co (WFC) on Weakness Following Analyst Downgrade

Traders bought shares of Wells Fargo & Co (NYSE:WFC) on weakness during trading on Monday after Zacks Investment Research downgraded the stock from a buy rating to a hold rating. $1,240.45 million flowed into the stock on the tick-up and $1,091.33 million flowed out of the stock on the tick-down, for a money net flow of $149.12 million into the stock. Of all stocks tracked, Wells Fargo & Co had the 8th highest net in-flow for the day. Wells Fargo & Co traded down ($5.91) for the day and closed at $58.16

A number of other equities research analysts have also weighed in on WFC. Sandler O’Neill upgraded Wells Fargo & Co from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and raised their price objective for the company from $62.04 to $73.00 in a research note on Tuesday, January 9th. Sanford C. Bernstein upgraded Wells Fargo & Co from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and raised their price objective for the company from $64.00 to $69.00 in a research note on Wednesday, January 3rd. JPMorgan Chase & Co. lowered Wells Fargo & Co from a “neutral” rating to an “underweight” rating in a research note on Monday, February 5th. Morgan Stanley raised their price objective on Wells Fargo & Co from $72.00 to $75.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research note on Friday, February 2nd. Finally, Vertical Group upgraded Wells Fargo & Co from a “sell” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, December 7th. Six analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have given a hold rating and thirteen have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $62.90.

In other news, 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 price of $55.98 per share, for a total transaction of $503,820.00. Following the transaction, the director now owns 81 shares in the company, valued at $4,534.38. The purchase was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, VP Richard Levy sold 97,000 shares of Wells Fargo & Co stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, November 30th. The stock was sold at an average price of $56.47, for a total value of $5,477,590.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders sold 184,482 shares of company stock valued at $10,471,050. Insiders own 0.22% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of WFC. Delpha Capital Management LLC bought a new stake in shares of Wells Fargo & Co in the 4th quarter worth approximately $103,000. Stelac Advisory Services LLC bought a new stake in shares of Wells Fargo & Co in the 2nd quarter worth approximately $104,000. Patriot Financial Group Insurance Agency LLC lifted its holdings in shares of Wells Fargo & Co by 0.3% in the 2nd quarter. Patriot Financial Group Insurance Agency LLC now owns 1,912 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $106,000 after purchasing an additional 6 shares during the last quarter. Santori & Peters Inc. bought a new stake in shares of Wells Fargo & Co in the 4th quarter worth approximately $110,000. Finally, Westside Investment Management Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of Wells Fargo & Co by 63.9% in the 2nd quarter. Westside Investment Management Inc. now owns 2,286 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $127,000 after purchasing an additional 891 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 76.00% of the company’s stock.

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

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

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, March 1st. Investors of record on Friday, February 2nd will be issued a $0.39 dividend. This represents a $1.56 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.61%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, February 1st. Wells Fargo & Co’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 37.77%.

Wells Fargo & Co announced that its Board of Directors has initiated a stock repurchase program on Tuesday, January 23rd that authorizes the company to repurchase 350,000,000 outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the financial services provider to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares repurchase programs are generally an indication that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.

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About Wells Fargo & Co

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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