Fifth Third Bancorp (NASDAQ:FITB) Sees Significant Decrease in Short Interest

Fifth Third Bancorp (NASDAQ:FITB) saw a large decrease in short interest in June. As of June 30th, there was short interest totalling 9,103,600 shares, a decrease of 36.0% from the May 30th total of 14,216,300 shares. Currently, 1.4% of the company’s shares are sold short. Based on an average daily trading volume, of 6,680,000 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is currently 1.4 days.

FITB traded up $0.15 during mid-day trading on Friday, hitting $28.20. 3,816,137 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 7,146,163. The firm’s fifty day moving average price is $27.42. Fifth Third Bancorp has a 1-year low of $22.12 and a 1-year high of $30.31. The company has a current ratio of 0.89, a quick ratio of 0.89 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.84. The company has a market cap of $20.30 billion, a P/E ratio of 11.10, a PEG ratio of 1.38 and a beta of 1.33.

Fifth Third Bancorp (NASDAQ:FITB) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, April 23rd. The financial services provider reported $0.63 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.59 by $0.04. The company had revenue of $2.18 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.67 billion. Fifth Third Bancorp had a return on equity of 11.77% and a net margin of 26.80%. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $0.57 EPS. Sell-side analysts anticipate that Fifth Third Bancorp will post 2.8 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, July 15th. Shareholders of record on Friday, June 28th will be given a $0.24 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, June 27th. This represents a $0.96 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.40%. This is a positive change from Fifth Third Bancorp’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.22. Fifth Third Bancorp’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 37.80%.

Fifth Third Bancorp announced that its board has initiated a share repurchase plan on Tuesday, June 18th that authorizes the company to repurchase 100,000,000 outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the financial services provider to buy shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are generally a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its shares are undervalued.

In other news, CAO Teresa J. Tanner sold 55,600 shares of the stock in a transaction on Monday, April 15th. The stock was sold at an average price of $27.47, for a total transaction of $1,527,332.00. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, CAO Teresa J. Tanner sold 2,918 shares of the stock in a transaction on Tuesday, April 30th. The stock was sold at an average price of $28.75, for a total value of $83,892.50. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders sold 62,466 shares of company stock valued at $1,716,402. 0.40% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

A number of hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of FITB. BlackRock Inc. raised its position in Fifth Third Bancorp by 16.9% in the 1st quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 50,942,882 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $1,284,778,000 after purchasing an additional 7,355,944 shares in the last quarter. Norges Bank acquired a new stake in Fifth Third Bancorp in the 4th quarter valued at about $161,089,000. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company raised its position in Fifth Third Bancorp by 99.8% in the 1st quarter. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company now owns 4,248,170 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $107,138,000 after purchasing an additional 2,121,611 shares in the last quarter. Acadian Asset Management LLC raised its position in Fifth Third Bancorp by 2,279.4% in the 1st quarter. Acadian Asset Management LLC now owns 1,843,474 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $46,495,000 after purchasing an additional 1,765,998 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Northern Trust Corp raised its position in Fifth Third Bancorp by 15.4% in the 1st quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 10,637,146 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $268,268,000 after purchasing an additional 1,416,806 shares in the last quarter. 81.82% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

FITB has been the subject of a number of research analyst reports. Wells Fargo & Co upgraded Medtronic from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and increased their price target for the stock from $100.00 to $110.00 in a report on Tuesday, June 4th. Jefferies Financial Group increased their target price on T. Rowe Price Group from $103.00 to $119.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, April 1st. UBS Group increased their target price on W. R. Berkley from $53.00 to $56.00 and gave the stock a “sell” rating in a research note on Wednesday, April 24th. Zacks Investment Research lowered Heritage Insurance from a “hold” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research note on Friday, April 26th. Finally, Wedbush decreased their target price on Express from $6.00 to $5.00 and set a “neutral” rating on the stock in a research note on Thursday, March 14th. Thirteen equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and seven have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $31.27.

Fifth Third Bancorp Company Profile

Fifth Third Bancorp operates as a diversified financial services company in the United States. The company's Commercial Banking segment offers credit intermediation, cash management, and financial services; lending and depository products; and cash management, foreign exchange and international trade finance, derivatives and capital markets services, asset-based lending, real estate finance, public finance, commercial leasing, and syndicated finance for business, government, and professional customers.

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