Considering Buying Fifth Third Bancorp (FITB)? Read This First

Analysts at Citigroup upped their rating on shares of Fifth Third Bancorp (NASDAQ:FITB) from Neutral to Buy in their opinion released on January 09. Barclays analysts again handed out a Equal Weight rating to FITB stock but they lifted target price for the shares in a flash note to investors on January 02. The price target has been raised from $35 to $31. Barclays, analysts launched coverage of FITB stock with a Equal Weight rating, according to their flash note to investors on January 02. Analysts at Stephens issued an upgrade from Equal-Weight to Overweight for the stock, in a research note that dated back to December 20.

Fifth Third Bancorp (NASDAQ:FITB) short sellers believe it will decline in price. The most recent short interest data has been released for the December 31st settlement date, which shows a 1,892,165 share increase in total short interest for FITB, to 18,377,216, a surge of 11.48% since December 14th. Average daily volume for Fifth Third Bancorp at the December 31st settlement jumped to 7,478,818, as compared to 6,810,725 at the December 14th report. That brought days to cover to 2.457235, a 1.52% increase from the 2.420455 days to cover recorded at the prior short interest data release. You could look at analyst ratings. The average analyst recommendations at 2.6 suggests buying these shares. But the opinions of a small number of people, though sometimes influential, doesn’t always speak for the hundreds of thousands of traders on Wall Street.

By watching the trading activity of corporate insiders, it will become easier to get a sense of Fifth Third Bancorp (NASDAQ:FITB)’s prospects. The earliest insider trade took place on 03/19/2018. Immaneni Aravind parted with a total of 4 thousand shares of company at average share price of $33.6. The total for the sales was set at $134.4 thousand. After this transaction, the EVP and CTO account balance stood at 21.07 thousand shares. The stock lost -25.42 percent since that insider sale. On 03/16/2018, Mcwilliams Jelena, EVP and CLO, sold 0.57 thousand shares at a price per share of $33.84. This removed 19.22 thousand shares from the insider’s fortune and the stock saw a -25.95 percent retreat in value since the news became public. This transaction left 6.03 thousand shares in the EVP and CLO account. On 03/05/2018, Director Brumback Emerson L performed a sale transaction worth $100.32 thousand. This sale at $33.44 each has eliminated 3 thousand shares from the insider’s portfolio position. Meanwhile, shares have recorded -25.06 percent decrease since the transaction was reported. The insider now is left with 50.34 thousand shares remaining in the account. Hazel Mark D, who performs the SVP & Controller job, sold 19.32 thousand shares for $644.84 thousand. The disposal occurred on 02/26/2018 was priced at $33.37 per share. The share price plunged -24.9 percent since the reporting date. Hazel Mark D now left with a stake of 52.42 thousand FITB stock worth $1.31 million after the insider selling.

Fifth Third Bancorp (FITB) is expected to jump by 17.64 percent over the next 12 months, according to price target estimates compiled by finviz. Meanwhile, they have set a $37-month high price target. This represents a whopping 47.65 percent increase from where shares are trading today. The 12-month median price target assigned by the analysts stands at $28.5, which represents a return potential of 13.73 percent when compared to the closing price of the stock of $25.06 on Friday, January 11. The lowest price target for the stock is $25 — slightly more than -0.24 percent from FITB’s current share price.

The shares are currently floating around the first support level of $24.76. Below this, the next support is placed in the zone of $24.45. Till the time, the FITB stock trades above this level, bulls have nothing to fear. On momentum oscillators front, ‘RSI’ has touched 53.2 on daily chart, which may remain a cause for concern. If the price breaks below $24.45 level on closing basis, then we may see more profit booking and the stock may show further weakness. On the flipside, hitting the $25.25 mark may result into a pull-back move towards $25.43 level.

FITB shares accumulated 0.14 points or 0.56 percent on Friday to $25.06 with a light trade volume of 4.185 million shares. After opening the session at $24.79, the shares went as high as $25.13 and as low as $24.64, the range within which the stock’s price traded throughout the day. The firm is left with a market cap of $16.7 billion and now has 667.62 million shares outstanding. Fifth Third Bancorp (FITB) stock has gained 1.91 percent of market value in 21 trading days.

FITB stock has a trailing 3-year beta of 1.3, offering the possibility of a higher rate of return, but also posing more risk. The portion of a company’s profit allocated to each outstanding share of common stock was $2.74 a share in the trailing twelve months. The stock’s value has surged 6.5 percent year to date (YTD) against a decline of -20.65 percent in 12 month’s time. The company’s shares still trade -27.72 percent away from its 1-year high of $34.67 and 13.29 percent up from 52-week low of $22.12. The average consensus rating on the company is 2.6, on a scale where 5 equates to a unanimous sell rating. In short, the mean analyst recommendations are calling this stock a sell.

Shares of Fifth Third Bancorp (FITB) are trading at a P/E ratio of 9.88 times earnings reported for the past 12 months. The industry FITB operates in has an average P/E of 18.6. Its P/E ratio went as low as 10.01X and as high as 13.99 over the 5-year span. Further, it is sporting a 3.39 on the Price-to-Sales ratio. Compare this with the industry average P/S of 7.82. 0 percent is the gross profit margin for Fifth Third Bancorp and operating margin sits at 77.1 percent. Along with this, the net profit margin is 43.2 percent.