Wells Fargo & Co (NYSE:WFC) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Saturday. The brokerage presently has a $65.00 price objective on the financial services provider’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s target price suggests a potential upside of 8.68% from the company’s current price.
According to Zacks, “Shares of Wells Fargo underperformed the industry over the last six months. Yet, the company has a decent earnings surprise history. The company surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings in two out of the trailing four quarters. Wells Fargo’s fourth-quarter 2017 adjusted earnings improved from the prior-year quarter. Notably, results recorded tax benefit related to the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act. Recently, Wells Fargo has been slapped with new sanctions including a cap on the assets position for the past misconducts by the Federal Reserve. Moreover, Moody’s has downgraded the rating outlook of the bank to negative. While the current crisis related to the revelation of illegally opening millions of illegal accounts in 2016 at the company will take some time to alleviate, we believe consistent growth in loans and deposits, lower tax rate and expansions will likely support its growth profile.”
Other equities analysts have also recently issued research reports about the stock. Buckingham Research raised shares of Wells Fargo & Co from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and increased their price objective for the stock from $57.00 to $75.00 in a research report on Thursday, December 21st. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Vertical Group raised shares of Wells Fargo & Co from a “sell” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, December 7th. Royal Bank of Canada reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $60.00 price objective on shares of Wells Fargo & Co in a research report on Wednesday, November 15th. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $59.00 price objective on shares of Wells Fargo & Co in a research report on Monday, October 16th. Finally, Vining Sparks reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $75.00 price objective on shares of Wells Fargo & Co in a research report on Monday, January 8th. Six investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have issued a hold rating and thirteen have given a buy rating to the stock. The company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $62.90.
Wells Fargo & Co (NYSE:WFC) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Friday, January 12th. The financial services provider reported $0.97 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.04 by ($0.07). The company had revenue of $22.05 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $22.64 billion. Wells Fargo & Co had a return on equity of 12.24% and a net margin of 22.57%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 2.2% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the business posted $0.96 EPS. equities analysts predict that Wells Fargo & Co will post 4.72 earnings per share for the current year.
Wells Fargo & Co announced that its Board of Directors has authorized a share buyback plan on Tuesday, January 23rd that permits the company to repurchase 350,000,000 outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization permits the financial services provider to repurchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are often a sign that the company’s management believes its shares are undervalued.
In other news, VP Richard Levy sold 97,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, November 30th. The shares were sold at an average price of $56.47, for a total value of $5,477,590.00. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, Director Ronald Sargent acquired 9,000 shares of Wells Fargo & Co stock in a transaction dated Monday, February 12th. The stock was purchased at an average price of $55.98 per share, for a total transaction of $503,820.00. Following the completion of the acquisition, the director now directly owns 81 shares in the company, valued at approximately $4,534.38. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 184,482 shares of company stock worth $10,471,050 over the last 90 days. Company insiders own 0.22% of the company’s stock.
Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its stake in Wells Fargo & Co by 1.2% during the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 314,755,460 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $17,440,601,000 after acquiring an additional 3,621,402 shares in the last quarter. Capital World Investors raised its stake in Wells Fargo & Co by 10.8% during the 2nd quarter. Capital World Investors now owns 111,753,448 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $6,192,259,000 after acquiring an additional 10,927,679 shares in the last quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC raised its stake in Wells Fargo & Co by 1.3% during the 4th quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 46,311,774 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $2,803,705,000 after acquiring an additional 584,764 shares in the last quarter. Capital Research Global Investors raised its stake in Wells Fargo & Co by 19.7% during the 2nd quarter. Capital Research Global Investors now owns 45,327,803 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $2,511,614,000 after acquiring an additional 7,445,414 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Dimensional Fund Advisors LP raised its stake in Wells Fargo & Co by 17.8% during the 3rd quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 35,143,414 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $1,937,888,000 after acquiring an additional 5,305,125 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 76.00% of the company’s stock.
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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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