Citizens Financial Group, Inc. (CFG) Rating Lowered to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

Citizens Financial Group, Inc. (NYSE:CFG) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued to investors on Friday.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Citizens Financial have outperformed the industry year to date. This performance was supported by the company’s impressive earnings surprise history. It hasn’t missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings in any of the trailing four quarters. It remains on track to implement TOP III efficiency initiatives, which are expected to boost earnings performance further. The company also launched TOP IV initiatives which are expected to achieve pre-tax benefit of $90-$105 million by the end of 2018. Following the Fed rate hikes so far, margin pressure seems to be easing. Also, the company continues to benefit from improving loans and deposit balances, and is well positioned to grow further as the U.S. economy is gaining traction. However, higher costs resulting from pending legal hassles remain a major concern.”

A number of other research firms have also issued reports on CFG. BidaskClub raised shares of Citizens Financial Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Saturday, July 8th. Deutsche Bank AG reissued a “hold” rating on shares of Citizens Financial Group in a research report on Wednesday, July 5th. BMO Capital Markets reissued a “market perform” rating and issued a $39.00 price target (up from $38.00) on shares of Citizens Financial Group in a research report on Tuesday, July 25th. TheStreet raised shares of Citizens Financial Group from a “c” rating to a “b-” rating in a research report on Monday, August 7th. Finally, Citigroup Inc. reissued a “hold” rating on shares of Citizens Financial Group in a research report on Thursday, June 22nd. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have given a hold rating and seven have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. Citizens Financial Group currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $35.75.

Shares of Citizens Financial Group (CFG) opened at 35.16 on Friday. Citizens Financial Group has a 1-year low of $23.81 and a 1-year high of $39.75. The company has a market cap of $17.60 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 15.01 and a beta of 1.32. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $33.99 and a 200-day moving average price of $35.34.

Citizens Financial Group (NYSE:CFG) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Friday, July 21st. The bank reported $0.63 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.59 by $0.04. The business had revenue of $1.40 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.40 billion. Citizens Financial Group had a net margin of 19.86% and a return on equity of 6.08%. The firm’s revenue was up 9.2% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $0.46 earnings per share. Equities research analysts forecast that Citizens Financial Group will post $2.53 earnings per share for the current year.

Citizens Financial Group declared that its board has approved a share repurchase program on Wednesday, June 28th that permits the company to repurchase $850.00 million in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization permits the bank to buy up to 4.8% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase programs are usually a sign that the company’s board believes its stock is undervalued.

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A number of large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Alps Advisors Inc. increased its holdings in Citizens Financial Group by 0.3% in the second quarter. Alps Advisors Inc. now owns 12,875 shares of the bank’s stock worth $459,000 after buying an additional 33 shares during the last quarter. Smithfield Trust Co. increased its holdings in Citizens Financial Group by 1.4% in the second quarter. Smithfield Trust Co. now owns 4,994 shares of the bank’s stock worth $178,000 after buying an additional 70 shares during the last quarter. First Allied Advisory Services Inc. increased its holdings in Citizens Financial Group by 1.1% in the second quarter. First Allied Advisory Services Inc. now owns 7,101 shares of the bank’s stock worth $250,000 after buying an additional 76 shares during the last quarter. Veritable L.P. increased its holdings in Citizens Financial Group by 1.2% in the second quarter. Veritable L.P. now owns 6,408 shares of the bank’s stock worth $229,000 after buying an additional 79 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Louisiana State Employees Retirement System increased its holdings in Citizens Financial Group by 0.3% in the second quarter. Louisiana State Employees Retirement System now owns 31,400 shares of the bank’s stock worth $1,120,000 after buying an additional 100 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 96.86% of the company’s stock.

Citizens Financial Group Company Profile

Citizens Financial Group, Inc is a retail bank holding company. The Company operates through two segments: Consumer Banking and Commercial Banking. Its Consumer Banking serves retail customers and small businesses. Consumer Banking products and services include deposit products, mortgage and home equity lending, auto financing, student loans, personal unsecured lines and loans, credit cards, business loans, wealth management and investment services.

Analyst Recommendations for Citizens Financial Group (NYSE:CFG)

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