E*TRADE Financial (ETFC) Raised to Buy at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of E*TRADE Financial (NASDAQ:ETFC) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report report published on Thursday. They currently have $52.00 price target on the financial services provider’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Shares of E*TRADE have outperformed the industry over the past three months. Also, estimates have been revised upward ahead of the company's fourth quarter 2018 earnings release. Further, the company has an impressive earnings surprise history. It surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings in each of the trailing four quarters. The company’s several restructuring measures and balance-sheet growth plans keep us encouraged. Also, E*TRADE’s focus on core operations and strategic initiatives will likely lead to an improved top-line performance. However, intense competition and rising costs can have an adverse impact on the company’s customer base and consequently on its profitability. Nevertheless, rising interest rates environment continues to support E*TRADE's interest income.”

ETFC has been the subject of a number of other research reports. Bank of America dropped their target price on E*TRADE Financial from $67.00 to $62.00 and set a buy rating for the company in a research report on Wednesday, September 26th. Raymond James dropped their target price on E*TRADE Financial from $70.00 to $64.00 and set a strong-buy rating for the company in a research report on Friday, October 19th. BidaskClub upgraded E*TRADE Financial from a strong sell rating to a sell rating in a research report on Saturday, October 6th. Deutsche Bank lowered their price objective on E*TRADE Financial from $60.00 to $59.00 and set a buy rating for the company in a research report on Friday, November 16th. Finally, Credit Suisse Group reiterated an outperform rating on shares of E*TRADE Financial in a research report on Thursday, November 15th. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and seventeen have given a buy rating to the stock. The stock has a consensus rating of Buy and an average price target of $62.24.

NASDAQ:ETFC opened at $47.88 on Thursday. The company has a market capitalization of $12.07 billion, a P/E ratio of 21.86, a PEG ratio of 0.67 and a beta of 1.19. E*TRADE Financial has a 1-year low of $40.41 and a 1-year high of $66.46. The company has a quick ratio of 0.28, a current ratio of 0.28 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.32.

E*TRADE Financial (NASDAQ:ETFC) last released its earnings results on Thursday, October 18th. The financial services provider reported $1.00 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.83 by $0.17. The company had revenue of $720.00 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $710.62 million. E*TRADE Financial had a return on equity of 15.45% and a net margin of 32.83%. E*TRADE Financial’s quarterly revenue was up 20.2% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $0.49 EPS. On average, equities analysts forecast that E*TRADE Financial will post 3.87 EPS for the current fiscal year.

E*TRADE Financial declared that its Board of Directors has approved a share repurchase plan on Thursday, October 18th that allows the company to buyback $1.00 billion in shares. This buyback authorization allows the financial services provider to buy up to 7.7% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback plans are typically an indication that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.

In other news, Director Joshua Weinreich purchased 5,725 shares of E*TRADE Financial stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, November 6th. The shares were bought at an average cost of $52.33 per share, with a total value of $299,589.25. Following the completion of the purchase, the director now directly owns 7,318 shares in the company, valued at $382,950.94. The acquisition was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, Director James P. Healy purchased 5,000 shares of E*TRADE Financial stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, December 11th. The stock was purchased at an average cost of $45.36 per share, for a total transaction of $226,800.00. Following the completion of the purchase, the director now owns 49,735 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,255,979.60. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. In the last 90 days, insiders have purchased 37,668 shares of company stock valued at $1,912,154. 0.12% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Visionary Asset Management Inc. purchased a new stake in shares of E*TRADE Financial in the fourth quarter worth $216,000. State of Alaska Department of Revenue grew its stake in shares of E*TRADE Financial by 3.2% in the fourth quarter. State of Alaska Department of Revenue now owns 43,918 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $1,925,000 after acquiring an additional 1,343 shares during the last quarter. Cerebellum GP LLC purchased a new stake in shares of E*TRADE Financial in the fourth quarter worth $270,000. CENTRAL TRUST Co grew its stake in shares of E*TRADE Financial by 98.8% in the fourth quarter. CENTRAL TRUST Co now owns 5,735 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $252,000 after acquiring an additional 2,850 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Csenge Advisory Group purchased a new stake in shares of E*TRADE Financial in the third quarter worth $58,000. 93.96% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

E*TRADE Financial Company Profile

E*TRADE Financial Corporation, a financial services company, provides brokerage and related products and services primarily to individual retail investors under the E*TRADE Financial brand. It also offers investor-focused banking products, primarily sweep deposits to retail investors; Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation insurance services; clearing and settlement services; investment advisory services; and financial corporate services, such as software and services for managing equity compensation plans to its corporate clients.

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