Wells Fargo & Co (WFC) – Investment Analysts’ Recent Ratings Updates

Several analysts have recently updated their ratings and price targets for Wells Fargo & Co (NYSE: WFC):

  • 9/25/2018 – Wells Fargo & Co is now covered by analysts at Wolfe Research. They set an “outperform” rating on the stock.
  • 9/18/2018 – Wells Fargo & Co was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating. According to Zacks, “Shares of Wells Fargo have underperformed the industry over the last three months. Further, the company possesses a disappointing earnings surprise history, having beaten the Zacks Consensus Estimate in only one of the trailing four quarters. Following the sales scandal and other issues, Wells Fargo has been slapped with new sanctions, including a cap on the assets position by the Federal Reserve. Recently, the bank has been charged with a penalty of $2.09 billion by the U.S. Department of Justice. Though lower tax rate, easing of regulations and expansions will likely support the bank’s growth profile, the crisis related to the revelation of illegally opening millions of accounts in 2016, auto-lending issues and impact of other malpractices will take some time to alleviate. Recently, the company’s chief financial officer, John Shrewsberry, revealed a dismal picture for the bank’s loan book as well.”
  • 9/17/2018 – Wells Fargo & Co had its price target lowered by analysts at Macquarie from $63.00 to $62.00. They now have a “neutral” rating on the stock.
  • 9/17/2018 – Wells Fargo & Co was upgraded by analysts at Edward Jones from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating.
  • 9/7/2018 – Wells Fargo & Co was downgraded by analysts at Macquarie from an “outperform” rating to a “neutral” rating. They noted that the move was a valuation call. They noted that the move was a valuation call.
  • 7/30/2018 – Wells Fargo & Co was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating. According to Zacks, “Shares of Wells Fargo have outperformed the industry over the last three months. However, the company possesses a disappointing earnings surprise history, having beaten the Zacks Consensus Estimate in only one of the trailing four quarters. The company’s second-quarter 2018 results were impacted by lower mortgage banking revenues and high expenses. However, lower provisions and higher net interest income aided results. Following the sales scandal and other issues, Wells Fargo has been slapped with new sanctions, including a cap on the assets position by the Federal Reserve. Though lower tax rate, easing of regulations and expansions will likely support the bank’s growth profile, the crisis related to the revelation of illegally opening millions of accounts in 2016, auto-lending issues and impact of other malpractices will take some time to alleviate. Nevertheless, the recent 2018 capital plan approval boosts investors' confidence.”

Shares of WFC stock opened at $53.16 on Thursday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.22, a current ratio of 0.88 and a quick ratio of 0.86. The company has a market cap of $264.52 billion, a PE ratio of 12.93, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.47 and a beta of 1.12. Wells Fargo & Co has a 1-year low of $50.26 and a 1-year high of $66.31.

Wells Fargo & Co (NYSE:WFC) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Friday, July 13th. The financial services provider reported $1.08 EPS for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.12 by ($0.04). Wells Fargo & Co had a net margin of 22.03% and a return on equity of 12.38%. The firm had revenue of $21.55 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $21.52 billion. sell-side analysts forecast that Wells Fargo & Co will post 4.55 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Saturday, September 1st. Investors of record on Friday, August 10th were paid a $0.43 dividend. This is an increase from Wells Fargo & Co’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.39. This represents a $1.72 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.24%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, August 9th. Wells Fargo & Co’s dividend payout ratio is currently 41.85%.

In related news, EVP Hope A. Hardison sold 25,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Monday, August 13th. The stock was sold at an average price of $58.01, for a total value of $1,450,250.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 109 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $6,323.09. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, EVP Avid Modjtabai sold 100,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, August 17th. The shares were sold at an average price of $58.71, for a total value of $5,871,000.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.09% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Rehmann Capital Advisory Group raised its stake in Wells Fargo & Co by 10.8% in the 2nd quarter. Rehmann Capital Advisory Group now owns 35,104 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $1,946,000 after purchasing an additional 3,425 shares during the last quarter. Royal London Asset Management Ltd. acquired a new position in Wells Fargo & Co in the 2nd quarter valued at $118,780,000. SP Asset Management purchased a new stake in Wells Fargo & Co in the 2nd quarter valued at $11,504,000. HRT Financial LLC purchased a new stake in Wells Fargo & Co in the 2nd quarter valued at $625,000. Finally, Farmers National Bank grew its holdings in Wells Fargo & Co by 22.9% in the 2nd quarter. Farmers National Bank now owns 19,689 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $1,092,000 after buying an additional 3,675 shares in the last quarter. 77.52% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Wells Fargo & Company, a diversified financial services company, provides retail, commercial, and corporate banking services to individuals, businesses, and institutions. The company's Community Banking segment offers checking and savings accounts; credit and debit cards; and automobile, student, mortgage, home equity, and small business loans.

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