Cullen/Frost Bankers (CFR) Rating Increased to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Cullen/Frost Bankers (NYSE:CFR) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report issued on Monday morning, Zacks.com reports.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Cullen/Frost have underperformed the industry, over the past three months. The first-quarter 2019 results indicated top-line strength, elevated expenses and provisions. The company’s significant exposure to real estate in its loan portfolio remains a concern. Further, rising costs, mainly resulting from expanding franchise, are likely to deter bottom-line growth. Also, continued deterioration in credit quality will likely escalate borrowing costs for the company. However, the company possesses an impressive earnings surprise history, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate in all the trailing four quarters. With a rising interest-rate environment and improving non-interest bearing deposits, the company's net interest income and net interest margin are likely to grow.”

Several other brokerages have also recently issued reports on CFR. Stephens set a $104.00 price target on shares of Cullen/Frost Bankers and gave the company a hold rating in a research report on Friday, February 8th. Wedbush upped their price target on shares of Cullen/Frost Bankers from $94.00 to $95.00 and gave the company a neutral rating in a research report on Friday, April 26th. Finally, Maxim Group restated a buy rating and issued a $110.00 price target (down from $115.00) on shares of Cullen/Frost Bankers in a research report on Friday, April 26th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have given a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the stock. The stock has an average rating of Hold and an average target price of $102.89.

Shares of NYSE CFR opened at $95.30 on Monday. The company has a quick ratio of 0.61, a current ratio of 0.61 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.07. Cullen/Frost Bankers has a 52-week low of $81.87 and a 52-week high of $118.89. The company has a market capitalization of $6.29 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 13.81, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.50 and a beta of 1.38.

Cullen/Frost Bankers (NYSE:CFR) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, April 25th. The bank reported $1.79 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.75 by $0.04. Cullen/Frost Bankers had a net margin of 32.16% and a return on equity of 14.30%. The firm had revenue of $367.96 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $366.47 million. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $1.61 EPS. The company’s revenue was up 7.0% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, research analysts expect that Cullen/Frost Bankers will post 7.01 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, June 14th. Stockholders of record on Friday, May 31st will be given a dividend of $0.71 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, May 30th. This is a boost from Cullen/Frost Bankers’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.67. This represents a $2.84 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.98%. Cullen/Frost Bankers’s dividend payout ratio is 38.84%.

In other news, CFO Jerry Salinas sold 12,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Tuesday, May 7th. The shares were sold at an average price of $100.98, for a total transaction of $1,211,760.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief financial officer now directly owns 24,856 shares in the company, valued at $2,509,958.88. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, Chairman Phillip D. Green sold 14,210 shares of the stock in a transaction on Tuesday, April 30th. The stock was sold at an average price of $101.91, for a total transaction of $1,448,141.10. Following the sale, the chairman now owns 34,337 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $3,499,283.67. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 4.84% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Vanguard Group Inc increased its position in shares of Cullen/Frost Bankers by 3.0% during the third quarter. Vanguard Group Inc now owns 5,964,830 shares of the bank’s stock worth $622,968,000 after buying an additional 171,180 shares during the period. BlackRock Inc. increased its position in shares of Cullen/Frost Bankers by 6.1% during the fourth quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 5,886,456 shares of the bank’s stock worth $517,655,000 after buying an additional 340,001 shares during the period. JPMorgan Chase & Co. increased its position in shares of Cullen/Frost Bankers by 27.8% during the first quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 2,757,310 shares of the bank’s stock worth $267,652,000 after buying an additional 600,509 shares during the period. Aristotle Capital Management LLC increased its position in shares of Cullen/Frost Bankers by 2.2% during the first quarter. Aristotle Capital Management LLC now owns 2,402,139 shares of the bank’s stock worth $233,176,000 after buying an additional 51,357 shares during the period. Finally, FMR LLC increased its position in shares of Cullen/Frost Bankers by 0.9% during the fourth quarter. FMR LLC now owns 2,280,587 shares of the bank’s stock worth $200,554,000 after buying an additional 20,968 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 80.65% of the company’s stock.

About Cullen/Frost Bankers

Cullen/Frost Bankers, Inc operates as the holding company for Frost Bank that offers commercial and consumer banking services in Texas. It operates in two segments, Banking and Frost Wealth Advisors. The company offers commercial banking services to corporations and other business clients, including financing for industrial and commercial properties, interim construction related to industrial and commercial properties, equipment, inventories and accounts receivables, and acquisitions; commercial leasing; and treasury management services.

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Analyst Recommendations for Cullen/Frost Bankers (NYSE:CFR)

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