Zacks Investment Research Downgrades Ally Financial (ALLY) to Hold

Ally Financial (NYSE:ALLY) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued to investors on Monday, Zacks.com reports.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Ally Financial have outperformed the industry over the past six months. It has an impressive earnings surprise history. The company’s earnings surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate in each of the trailing four quarters. The company’s first-quarter 2019 results benefited from growth in revenues, partly offset by higher expenses and provisions. Initiatives to diversify revenue base, rise in consumer loan demand, higher interest rates and growth in net finance revenues will likely further support the company’s profitability. Further, the company's steady capital deployment activities indicate strong balance sheet position. This will continue to enhance shareholder value. However, mounting expenses (mainly due to expansion strategy) will likely hurt profitability to some extent. Also, the use of high debt remains a major near-term concern as it will likely hurt financials.”

A number of other equities research analysts also recently issued reports on the company. BTIG Research initiated coverage on Ally Financial in a research note on Thursday, January 24th. Sandler O’Neill upgraded Ally Financial from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and boosted their price target for the company from $29.00 to $33.00 in a research note on Tuesday, February 26th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. BMO Capital Markets boosted their price target on Ally Financial to $39.00 and gave the company a “market perform” rating in a research note on Monday, April 22nd. Oppenheimer set a $33.00 price target on Ally Financial and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, April 17th. Finally, Morgan Stanley boosted their price target on Ally Financial from $30.00 to $32.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a research note on Monday, April 22nd. Seven investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eight have given a buy rating to the company. The stock has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $32.92.

Ally Financial stock opened at $29.76 on Monday. The stock has a market cap of $11.76 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 8.91, a PEG ratio of 0.58 and a beta of 1.38. Ally Financial has a 52-week low of $20.60 and a 52-week high of $30.27. The company has a quick ratio of 1.11, a current ratio of 1.11 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 3.03.

Ally Financial (NYSE:ALLY) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, April 18th. The financial services provider reported $0.80 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.79 by $0.01. The business had revenue of $1.60 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.53 billion. Ally Financial had a return on equity of 10.90% and a net margin of 23.12%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 13.9% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $0.68 EPS. On average, sell-side analysts expect that Ally Financial will post 3.62 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Ally Financial declared that its board has authorized a share buyback plan on Monday, April 1st that authorizes the company to buyback $1.25 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the financial services provider to purchase up to 10.5% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback plans are generally an indication that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.

In related news, Director Mayree C. Clark acquired 5,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Thursday, May 2nd. The shares were purchased at an average cost of $29.71 per share, with a total value of $148,550.00. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 46,248 shares in the company, valued at $1,374,028.08. The acquisition was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, CEO Jeffrey Jonathan Brown sold 97,311 shares of Ally Financial stock in a transaction dated Thursday, February 21st. The shares were sold at an average price of $27.01, for a total value of $2,628,370.11. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 632,569 shares in the company, valued at $17,085,688.69. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders have sold 101,755 shares of company stock worth $2,756,202. Insiders own 0.35% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of ALLY. Harel Insurance Investments & Financial Services Ltd. purchased a new position in Ally Financial in the 1st quarter worth approximately $31,000. Private Capital Group LLC lifted its holdings in Ally Financial by 53.5% in the 4th quarter. Private Capital Group LLC now owns 1,820 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $41,000 after purchasing an additional 634 shares in the last quarter. Enlightenment Research LLC purchased a new position in Ally Financial in the 4th quarter worth approximately $54,000. Truvestments Capital LLC purchased a new position in Ally Financial in the 1st quarter worth approximately $74,000. Finally, Kinneret Advisory LLC purchased a new position in Ally Financial in the 4th quarter worth approximately $121,000.

About Ally Financial

Ally Financial Inc provides various financial products and services to consumers, businesses, automotive dealers, and corporate customers primarily in the United States and Canada. It operates through Automotive Finance Operations, Insurance Operations, Mortgage Finance Operations, and Corporate Finance Operations segments.

See Also: Price to Earnings Ratio (PE)

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