Citigroup (C) Rating Increased to Buy at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Citigroup (NYSE:C) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report sent to investors on Friday morning. Zacks Investment Research currently has $72.00 price objective on the financial services provider’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Citigroup have underperformed the industry year to date. However, the company possesses an impressive earnings surprise history, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate in all the trailing four quarters. The company’s third-quarter 2018 earnings reflected high revenues, along with loan growth. Moreover, controlled expenses were witnessed. We believe the company’s restructuring and streamlining efforts, strategic investments in core business, lower tax rate and expense management will likely support profitability. Though several issues, including litigation burden and declining fee income, keep us apprehensive, with rising rates, margin pressure seems to be easing.”

A number of other equities analysts have also recently weighed in on C. Wolfe Research started coverage on Citigroup in a report on Tuesday, September 25th. They set an outperform rating for the company. Deutsche Bank increased their price target on Citigroup from $76.00 to $82.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a report on Thursday, September 27th. ValuEngine upgraded Citigroup from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report on Tuesday, August 28th. Wells Fargo & Co set a $100.00 price target on Citigroup and gave the stock a buy rating in a report on Monday, August 27th. Finally, Vining Sparks reiterated a buy rating and set a $77.00 price target on shares of Citigroup in a report on Tuesday, October 9th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have assigned a hold rating and fifteen have issued a buy rating to the company. The company currently has an average rating of Buy and an average target price of $82.61.

Shares of C opened at $64.62 on Friday. Citigroup has a 52-week low of $62.34 and a 52-week high of $80.70. The firm has a market capitalization of $166.93 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 12.12, a P/E/G ratio of 0.85 and a beta of 1.47. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.32, a current ratio of 1.00 and a quick ratio of 1.00.

Citigroup (NYSE:C) last issued its earnings results on Friday, October 12th. The financial services provider reported $1.73 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.66 by $0.07. Citigroup had a positive return on equity of 9.42% and a negative net margin of 4.81%. The business had revenue of $18.39 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $18.43 billion. During the same period last year, the company earned $1.42 EPS. On average, sell-side analysts forecast that Citigroup will post 6.69 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, November 21st. Investors of record on Monday, November 5th will be issued a dividend of $0.45 per share. This represents a $1.80 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.79%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, November 2nd. Citigroup’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 33.77%.

Institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Csenge Advisory Group acquired a new stake in Citigroup in the 3rd quarter valued at about $104,000. IMA Wealth Inc. acquired a new stake in Citigroup in the 2nd quarter valued at about $129,000. Arlington Partners LLC acquired a new stake in Citigroup in the 3rd quarter valued at about $143,000. Almanack Investment Partners LLC. acquired a new stake in Citigroup in the 3rd quarter valued at about $150,000. Finally, Peoples Financial Services CORP. raised its position in Citigroup by 82.8% in the 3rd quarter. Peoples Financial Services CORP. now owns 2,208 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $159,000 after purchasing an additional 1,000 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 72.85% of the company’s stock.

About Citigroup

Citigroup Inc, a diversified financial services holding company, provides various financial products and services for consumers, corporations, governments, and institutions. The company operates through two segments, Global Consumer Banking (GCB) and Institutional Clients Group (ICG). The GCB segment offers traditional banking services to retail customers through retail banking, commercial banking, Citi-branded cards, and Citi retail services.

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