BB&T (BBT) Upgraded by Zacks Investment Research to “Buy”

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of BB&T (NYSE:BBT) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report released on Friday. Zacks Investment Research currently has $54.00 price target 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.”

BBT has been the topic of several other research reports. B. Riley set a $56.00 price target on BB&T and gave the company a buy rating in a research note on Monday, October 15th. ValuEngine lowered BB&T from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note on Tuesday, October 2nd. Finally, BMO Capital Markets decreased their price target 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. Eight investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and fourteen have issued a buy rating to the company. BB&T has a consensus rating of Buy and an average price target of $55.44.

Shares of NYSE:BBT traded down $0.48 during trading on Friday, hitting $47.66. 5,524,530 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 4,453,810. BB&T has a 1-year low of $45.93 and a 1-year high of $56.31. The firm has a market capitalization of $37.10 billion, a PE ratio of 15.18, a PEG ratio of 1.13 and a beta of 0.95. The company has a current ratio of 0.88, a quick ratio of 0.87 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.86.

BB&T (NYSE:BBT) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, October 18th. The insurance provider reported $1.01 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.00 by $0.01. The business had revenue of $2.93 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.93 billion. BB&T had a return on equity of 11.66% and a net margin of 23.52%. BB&T’s quarterly revenue was up 1.6% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $0.74 EPS. On average, sell-side analysts predict 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 given a dividend of $0.405 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, November 8th. This represents a $1.62 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.40%. BB&T’s payout ratio is currently 51.59%.

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

Several hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. V Wealth Management LLC bought a new stake in BB&T in the third quarter valued at about $587,000. Toronto Dominion Bank increased its holdings in BB&T by 19.2% in the second quarter. Toronto Dominion Bank now owns 503,426 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $25,387,000 after purchasing an additional 81,234 shares during the last quarter. Ferguson Wellman Capital Management Inc. increased its holdings in BB&T by 3.1% in the second quarter. Ferguson Wellman Capital Management Inc. now owns 304,053 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $15,336,000 after purchasing an additional 9,097 shares during the last quarter. Motco increased its holdings in BB&T by 1.4% in the third quarter. Motco now owns 76,226 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $3,700,000 after purchasing an additional 1,061 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Strs Ohio increased its holdings in BB&T by 3.3% in the second quarter. Strs Ohio now owns 942,393 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $47,534,000 after purchasing an additional 29,812 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 64.07% of the company’s stock.

About BB&T

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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