Is SunTrust Banks, Inc. (STI) Soaring Insider Trading Sending a Signal?

The exact reason why investors have been taking up SunTrust Banks, Inc. (NYSE:STI) stock at a frenetic pace might seem like a bit of a head-scratcher at the moment, but that’s only if you are buying the stock for the wrong reasons. On 13 March, the shares accumulated 0.7 points or 1.11 percent at $64 with a light trade volume of 2.837 million shares. After opening the session at $63.52, the shares went as high as $64.3 and as low as $63.14, the range within which the stock’s price traded throughout the day. The firm is left with a market cap of $28.3 billion and now has 442.42 million shares outstanding. SunTrust Banks, Inc. (STI) stock has lost -1.19 percent of market value in 21 trading days.

STI stock has a trailing 3-year beta of 1.55, 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 $5.62 a share in the trailing twelve months. The stock’s value has surged 26.88 percent year to date (YTD) against a decline of -11.82 percent in 12 month’s time. The company’s shares still trade -14.76 percent away from its 1-year high of $75.08 and 38.98 percent up from 52-week low of $46.05. The average consensus rating on the company is 2.5, on a scale where 5 equates to a unanimous sell rating. In short, the mean analyst recommendations are calling this stock a sell.

SunTrust Banks, Inc. (STI) will probably climb 11.25 percent over the next 12 months, according to price target estimates compiled by finviz. Meanwhile, they have set a $88-month high price target. This represents a whopping 37.5 percent increase from where shares are trading today. The 12-month median price target assigned by the analysts stands at $70, which represents a return potential of 9.38 percent when compared to the closing price of the stock of $64 on Wednesday, March 13. The lowest price target for the stock is $62 — slightly more than -3.13 percent from STI’s current share price.

History has shown that shares in SunTrust Banks, Inc. have gone up on 23 different earnings reaction days and are predicted to add 0.02 percent when the company reports upcoming earnings. Investors will get their next glimpse of STI’s Q1 earnings on April 18. Analysts are forecasting revenue to climb 3.5 percent to $2.34B in the fiscal first quarter, while earnings are seen soaring by nearly 1.55 percent to $1.31 per share. It earned $1.5 per share, better than the $1.38, adjusted, expected by Thomson Reuters consensus estimate. Revenue was $2.39B, better than the $2.37B analysts expected. Earnings are estimated to increase by 45.9 percent this year, 5.76 percent next year and continue to increase by 9.82 percent annually for the next 5 years.

The stock is currently hovering around the first support level of $63.33. Below this, the next support is placed in the zone of $62.65. Till the time, the STI stock trades above this level, bulls have nothing to fear. On momentum oscillators front, ‘RSI’ has touched 53.22 on daily chart, which may remain a cause for concern. If the price breaks below $62.65 level on closing basis, then we may see more profit booking and the stock may show further weakness. On the flipside, hitting the $64.49 mark may result into a pull-back move towards $64.97 level.

Shares of SunTrust Banks, Inc. (STI) are trading at a P/E ratio of 11.26 times earnings reported for the past 12 months. The industry STI operates in has an average P/E of 19.06. Its P/E ratio went as low as 8.98X and as high as 16.77 over the 5-year span.Further, it is sporting a 3.93 on the Price-to-Sales ratio. Compare this with the industry average P/S of 8.1.