Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) Lowered to “Sell” at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note released on Wednesday, Zacks.com reports. They currently have $32.00 price objective on the financial services provider’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Bank of America's shares have outperformed the industry over the past six months. The company's earnings have surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate in each of the trailing four quarters. Efforts to expand into new markets and digital offerings will likely enhance cross selling opportunities. Also, rise in loan balances, higher interest rates and efforts to control expenses will likely support profits. Further, the bank's enhanced capital deployment actions (approved by the Federal Reserve) reflect strong balance sheet position. However, dismal performance of capital markets amid tough operation backdrop has been hurting the bank’s investment banking and trading operations, which in turn will hurt revenue growth. Litigation issues related to its business misconducts in the pre-crisis period are likely to lead to higher legal costs.”

A number of other analysts have also commented on BAC. Berenberg Bank lowered shares of to a hold rating and decreased their price target for the company from GBX 283 ($3.70) to GBX 103 ($1.35) in a research note on Monday, June 17th. ValuEngine lowered shares of Zumiez from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note on Monday, May 13th. HSBC restated a hold rating on shares of Societe Generale in a research note on Thursday, April 4th. Jefferies Financial Group set a $158.00 price target on shares of HCA Healthcare and gave the company a buy rating in a research note on Wednesday, April 17th. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. initiated coverage on shares of Pinduoduo in a research note on Tuesday. They set an underweight rating and a $20.48 price target for the company. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating and eight have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average target price of $32.52.

Shares of BAC stock opened at $29.45 on Wednesday. The company has a market cap of $279.16 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 11.28, a PEG ratio of 1.16 and a beta of 1.53. The company’s fifty day simple moving average is $28.28. The company has a quick ratio of 0.91, a current ratio of 0.91 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.96. Bank of America has a 12 month low of $22.66 and a 12 month high of $31.91.

Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, April 16th. The financial services provider reported $0.70 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.65 by $0.05. The business had revenue of $23 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $23.24 billion. Bank of America had a net margin of 25.42% and a return on equity of 11.79%. Bank of America’s quarterly revenue was down .4% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business posted $0.62 EPS. Research analysts anticipate that Bank of America will post 2.81 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, June 28th. Shareholders of record on Friday, June 7th were issued a dividend of $0.15 per share. This represents a $0.60 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.04%. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, June 6th. Bank of America’s dividend payout ratio is 22.99%.

Bank of America declared that its board has initiated a share buyback program on Thursday, June 27th that permits the company to buyback $30.90 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization permits the financial services provider to repurchase up to 11.6% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are often a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its shares are undervalued.

In other Bank of America news, insider Dean C. Athanasia sold 129,615 shares of Bank of America stock in a transaction on Wednesday, April 17th. The shares were sold at an average price of $29.78, for a total transaction of $3,859,934.70. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 243,617 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $7,254,914.26. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. 0.17% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the business. West Oak Capital LLC boosted its holdings in shares of Bank of America by 8.0% in the 2nd quarter. West Oak Capital LLC now owns 6,769 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $196,000 after buying an additional 500 shares during the last quarter. Welch & Forbes LLC boosted its holdings in shares of Bank of America by 2.7% in the 2nd quarter. Welch & Forbes LLC now owns 830,485 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $24,084,000 after buying an additional 21,896 shares during the last quarter. Altman Advisors Inc. boosted its holdings in shares of Bank of America by 1.6% in the 2nd quarter. Altman Advisors Inc. now owns 74,068 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $2,148,000 after buying an additional 1,170 shares during the last quarter. Country Club Trust Company n.a. boosted its holdings in shares of Bank of America by 2.9% in the 2nd quarter. Country Club Trust Company n.a. now owns 23,962 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $695,000 after buying an additional 675 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Clark Capital Management Group Inc. boosted its holdings in shares of Bank of America by 21.1% in the 2nd quarter. Clark Capital Management Group Inc. now owns 2,069,342 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $60,011,000 after buying an additional 360,945 shares during the last quarter. 68.19% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About Bank of America

Bank of America Corporation, through its subsidiaries, provides banking and financial products and services for individual consumers, small- and middle-market businesses, institutional investors, large corporations, and governments worldwide. It operates through four segments: Consumer Banking, Global Wealth & Investment Management (GWIM), Global Banking, and Global Markets.

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