Citizens Financial Group, Inc. (CFG) Downgraded by Zacks Investment Research to “Hold”

Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Citizens Financial Group, Inc. (NYSE:CFG) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report sent to investors on Friday morning.

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.”

CFG has been the subject of several other research reports. TheStreet upgraded Citizens Financial Group from a c rating to a b- rating in a research note on Monday, August 7th. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods set a $40.00 target price on Citizens Financial Group and gave the company a buy rating in a research note on Friday, August 11th. BidaskClub upgraded Citizens Financial Group from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note on Saturday, July 8th. Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc. restated a hold rating on shares of Citizens Financial Group in a research note on Thursday, June 22nd. Finally, Citigroup Inc. restated a hold rating on shares of Citizens Financial Group in a research note on Thursday, June 22nd. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have issued a hold rating and seven have given a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $35.75.

Shares of Citizens Financial Group (NYSE CFG) traded up 1.09% during midday trading on Friday, hitting $35.16. The company had a trading volume of 6,791,062 shares. The firm has a market cap of $17.60 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 15.01 and a beta of 1.32. Citizens Financial Group has a one year low of $23.81 and a one year high of $39.75. The company’s 50 day moving average is $33.99 and its 200 day moving average is $35.34.

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

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Citizens Financial Group declared that its Board of Directors has initiated a share buyback program on Wednesday, June 28th that authorizes the company to repurchase $850.00 million in shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the bank to purchase up to 4.8% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares repurchase programs are often an indication that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of CFG. BlackRock Inc. raised its holdings in shares of Citizens Financial Group by 1,533.4% in the 1st quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 42,692,103 shares of the bank’s stock worth $1,475,015,000 after buying an additional 40,078,389 shares in the last quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC raised its holdings in shares of Citizens Financial Group by 2,682.0% in the 2nd quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 8,138,852 shares of the bank’s stock worth $290,393,000 after buying an additional 7,846,303 shares in the last quarter. Janus Capital Management LLC raised its holdings in shares of Citizens Financial Group by 2,490.8% in the 1st quarter. Janus Capital Management LLC now owns 4,632,828 shares of the bank’s stock worth $160,064,000 after buying an additional 4,454,009 shares in the last quarter. Voya Investment Management LLC raised its holdings in shares of Citizens Financial Group by 199.3% in the 2nd quarter. Voya Investment Management LLC now owns 5,276,361 shares of the bank’s stock worth $188,261,000 after buying an additional 3,513,196 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Lazard Asset Management LLC raised its holdings in shares of Citizens Financial Group by 16,695.7% in the 2nd quarter. Lazard Asset Management LLC now owns 2,779,356 shares of the bank’s stock worth $99,167,000 after buying an additional 2,762,808 shares in the last quarter. 96.86% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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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