Huntington Bancshares (HBAN) Raised to Strong-Buy at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Huntington Bancshares (NASDAQ:HBAN) from a hold rating to a strong-buy rating in a report issued on Tuesday morning. Zacks Investment Research currently has $17.00 target price on the bank’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Huntington have outperformed the industry over the past six months. Further, the company has a decent earnings surprise history. It surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate in two of the trailing four quarters. With the Fed rate hikes, margin pressure for the company finally seems to be easing. Moreover, rising loans and deposits along with improved credit quality are tailwinds. Further, a lower corporate tax rate is likely to support financials. Also, the company's strong liquidity position keeps it well poised to expand through strategic initiatives, which will support profitability in the long run.”

HBAN has been the topic of several other reports. Morgan Stanley increased their price objective on shares of Huntington Bancshares from $14.50 to $16.50 and gave the company an equal weight rating in a research report on Wednesday, December 13th. BidaskClub raised shares of Huntington Bancshares from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report on Friday, December 22nd. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reissued a hold rating and issued a $14.25 price objective on shares of Huntington Bancshares in a research report on Friday, October 13th. Sanford C. Bernstein raised shares of Huntington Bancshares from a market perform rating to an outperform rating and increased their price objective for the company from $15.00 to $17.00 in a research report on Thursday, September 14th. Finally, Nomura increased their price objective on shares of Huntington Bancshares from $16.00 to $17.00 and gave the company a buy rating in a research report on Thursday, October 26th. Six research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, twelve have given a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of Buy and an average target price of $16.31.

Shares of Huntington Bancshares (NASDAQ HBAN) traded up $0.15 during mid-day trading on Tuesday, reaching $15.63. 6,850,300 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 10,987,237. The firm has a market capitalization of $17,090.00, a PE ratio of 18.83, a P/E/G ratio of 1.52 and a beta of 1.33. The company has a current ratio of 0.88, a quick ratio of 0.87 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.96. Huntington Bancshares has a 12-month low of $12.14 and a 12-month high of $15.69.

Huntington Bancshares (NASDAQ:HBAN) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, October 25th. The bank reported $0.23 EPS for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.25 by ($0.02). The firm had revenue of $1.09 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.10 billion. Huntington Bancshares had a net margin of 25.22% and a return on equity of 10.68%. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $0.11 EPS. research analysts expect that Huntington Bancshares will post 0.98 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, January 2nd. Investors of record on Monday, December 18th were given a dividend of $0.11 per share. This represents a $0.44 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.82%. This is a positive change from Huntington Bancshares’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.08. The ex-dividend date was Friday, December 15th. Huntington Bancshares’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 38.55%.

In related news, insider Helga Houston sold 14,513 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, November 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $13.77, for a total transaction of $199,844.01. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 499,824 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $6,882,576.48. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, EVP Daniel J. Neumeyer sold 43,491 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, October 31st. The stock was sold at an average price of $13.88, for a total transaction of $603,655.08. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 427,270 shares in the company, valued at $5,930,507.60. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 1.30% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

A number of large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in HBAN. Capital International Investors increased its position in Huntington Bancshares by 22.6% during the second quarter. Capital International Investors now owns 43,919,215 shares of the bank’s stock worth $593,788,000 after acquiring an additional 8,101,400 shares during the period. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its holdings in Huntington Bancshares by 2.4% in the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 109,990,274 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $1,487,068,000 after buying an additional 2,558,854 shares during the period. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company increased its holdings in Huntington Bancshares by 20.1% in the 2nd quarter. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company now owns 12,364,805 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $167,172,000 after buying an additional 2,065,131 shares during the period. Beacon Investment Advisory Services Inc. bought a new position in Huntington Bancshares in the 3rd quarter valued at about $23,872,000. Finally, Nationwide Fund Advisors increased its holdings in Huntington Bancshares by 430.6% in the 2nd quarter. Nationwide Fund Advisors now owns 1,620,866 shares of the bank’s stock valued at $21,914,000 after buying an additional 1,315,390 shares during the period. 73.53% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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About Huntington Bancshares

Huntington Bancshares Incorporated (Huntington) is a bank holding company. Through its subsidiaries, including its bank subsidiary, The Huntington National Bank (the Bank), the Company provides commercial and consumer banking services, mortgage banking services, automobile financing, recreational vehicle and marine financing, equipment leasing, investment management, trust services, brokerage services, insurance programs, and other financial products and services.

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