BB&T (BBT) Rating Increased to Buy at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of BB&T (NYSE:BBT) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report issued on Friday morning. The brokerage currently has $54.00 target price on the insurance provider’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Shares of BB&T have outperformed the industry so far this year. The company has an impressive earnings surprise history, having surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate in three and matched in one of the trailing four quarters. Consistent growth in loans and deposits, higher interest rates, focus on non-interest income growth, and inorganic growth strategy will likely continue to support top-line growth. While mounting expenses and significant exposure to risky loans remain major concerns, the company's enhanced capital deployment plan reflects a strong balance sheet position. Also, lower tax rates and easing of stringent regulations will aid profitability.”

Several other analysts have also issued reports on the company. ValuEngine upgraded BB&T from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note on Saturday, November 10th. BMO Capital Markets dropped their price objective on BB&T from $58.00 to $57.00 and set an outperform rating on the stock in a research note on Friday, October 19th. Finally, B. Riley set a $56.00 price objective on BB&T and gave the company a buy rating in a research note on Monday, October 15th. Eight analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and fourteen have issued a buy rating to the stock. BB&T has an average rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $55.44.

NYSE BBT traded down $0.48 during trading hours on Friday, hitting $47.66. 5,524,530 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 4,453,810. BB&T has a twelve month low of $45.93 and a twelve month high of $56.31. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.86, a quick ratio of 0.87 and a current ratio of 0.88. The stock has a market capitalization of $37.10 billion, a PE ratio of 15.18, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.13 and a beta of 0.95.

BB&T (NYSE:BBT) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, October 18th. The insurance provider reported $1.01 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.00 by $0.01. BB&T had a return on equity of 11.66% and a net margin of 23.52%. The firm had revenue of $2.93 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.93 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted $0.74 earnings per share. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 1.6% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, research analysts forecast that BB&T will post 4.05 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, December 3rd. Stockholders of record on Friday, November 9th were paid a dividend of $0.405 per share. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, November 8th. This represents a $1.62 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.40%. BB&T’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 51.59%.

In other news, Director Patrick C. Graney III bought 4,200 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Thursday, December 6th. The shares were bought at an average price of $47.56 per share, for a total transaction of $199,752.00. Following the completion of the purchase, the director now owns 4,200 shares in the company, valued at $199,752. The acquisition was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, Director Nido R. Qubein sold 2,825 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, November 7th. The stock was sold at an average price of $50.19, for a total value of $141,786.75. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.51% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in BBT. Zions Bancorporation bought a new position in shares of BB&T during the third quarter worth approximately $102,000. Girard Partners LTD. bought a new position in shares of BB&T during the third quarter worth approximately $142,000. SRS Capital Advisors Inc. increased its stake in shares of BB&T by 4,311.8% during the third quarter. SRS Capital Advisors Inc. now owns 3,000 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $146,000 after purchasing an additional 2,932 shares during the period. ClariVest Asset Management LLC bought a new position in shares of BB&T during the second quarter worth approximately $167,000. Finally, Bridgeworth LLC bought a new position in BB&T during the 2nd quarter worth $197,000. Institutional investors own 64.07% of the company’s stock.

BB&T Company Profile

BB&T Corporation operates as a financial holding company that provides various banking and trust services for small and mid-size businesses, public agencies, local governments, and individuals. The company operates through four segments: CB-Retail, CB-Commercial, IH&PF, and FS&CF. Its deposit products include noninterest-bearing checking, interest-bearing checking, savings, and money market deposit accounts, as well as certificates of deposit and individual retirement accounts.

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