E*TRADE Financial (ETFC) Upgraded at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of E*TRADE Financial (NASDAQ:ETFC) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note published on Thursday morning. Zacks Investment Research currently has $52.00 price target on the financial services provider’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Shares of E*TRADE have outperformed the industry over the past three months. Also, estimates have been revised upward ahead of the company's fourth quarter 2018 earnings release. Further, the company has an impressive earnings surprise history. It surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings in each of the trailing four quarters. The company’s several restructuring measures and balance-sheet growth plans keep us encouraged. Also, E*TRADE’s focus on core operations and strategic initiatives will likely lead to an improved top-line performance. However, intense competition and rising costs can have an adverse impact on the company’s customer base and consequently on its profitability. Nevertheless, rising interest rates environment continues to support E*TRADE's interest income.”

ETFC has been the subject of several other research reports. Raymond James reduced their price target on shares of E*TRADE Financial from $70.00 to $64.00 and set a strong-buy rating for the company in a research report on Friday, October 19th. BidaskClub downgraded shares of E*TRADE Financial from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report on Tuesday, December 11th. Barclays reduced their price target on shares of E*TRADE Financial from $65.00 to $60.00 and set an overweight rating for the company in a research report on Friday, October 19th. Credit Suisse Group reduced their price target on shares of E*TRADE Financial from $61.00 to $58.00 and set an outperform rating for the company in a research report on Tuesday, October 30th. Finally, Deutsche Bank reduced their price target on shares of E*TRADE Financial from $60.00 to $59.00 and set a buy rating for the company in a research report on Friday, November 16th. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and seventeen have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has an average rating of Buy and an average target price of $62.24.

Shares of ETFC stock opened at $47.88 on Thursday. The company has a market cap of $12.07 billion, a PE ratio of 21.86, a P/E/G ratio of 0.67 and a beta of 1.19. E*TRADE Financial has a 52 week low of $40.41 and a 52 week high of $66.46. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.32, a current ratio of 0.28 and a quick ratio of 0.28.

E*TRADE Financial (NASDAQ:ETFC) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, October 18th. The financial services provider reported $1.00 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.83 by $0.17. E*TRADE Financial had a net margin of 32.83% and a return on equity of 15.45%. The business had revenue of $720.00 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $710.62 million. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $0.49 EPS. E*TRADE Financial’s revenue was up 20.2% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, sell-side analysts expect that E*TRADE Financial will post 3.87 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

E*TRADE Financial declared that its Board of Directors has authorized a stock repurchase plan on Thursday, October 18th that authorizes the company to buyback $1.00 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the financial services provider to repurchase up to 7.7% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback plans are generally an indication that the company’s management believes its shares are undervalued.

In related news, Chairman Rodger A. Lawson acquired 5,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, November 2nd. The shares were acquired at an average cost of $51.26 per share, for a total transaction of $256,300.00. Following the purchase, the chairman now owns 109,191 shares in the company, valued at $5,597,130.66. The acquisition was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, CFO Michael A. Pizzi acquired 10,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, November 2nd. The shares were bought at an average price of $51.67 per share, for a total transaction of $516,700.00. Following the completion of the purchase, the chief financial officer now owns 88,171 shares in the company, valued at approximately $4,555,795.57. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders have acquired 37,668 shares of company stock worth $1,912,154. Company insiders own 0.12% of the company’s stock.

A number of large investors have recently modified their holdings of ETFC. Csenge Advisory Group bought a new position in E*TRADE Financial during the 3rd quarter valued at $58,000. Stratos Wealth Partners LTD. bought a new position in E*TRADE Financial during the 3rd quarter valued at $102,000. First Interstate Bank bought a new position in E*TRADE Financial during the 3rd quarter valued at $122,000. Qube Research & Technologies Ltd bought a new position in E*TRADE Financial during the 2nd quarter valued at $128,000. Finally, Parallel Advisors LLC raised its stake in shares of E*TRADE Financial by 64.1% during the 3rd quarter. Parallel Advisors LLC now owns 2,755 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $144,000 after purchasing an additional 1,076 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 93.96% of the company’s stock.

E*TRADE Financial Company Profile

E*TRADE Financial Corporation, a financial services company, provides brokerage and related products and services primarily to individual retail investors under the E*TRADE Financial brand. It also offers investor-focused banking products, primarily sweep deposits to retail investors; Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation insurance services; clearing and settlement services; investment advisory services; and financial corporate services, such as software and services for managing equity compensation plans to its corporate clients.

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