Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report report published on Wednesday, Zacks.com reports. They currently have $32.00 price objective on the financial services provider’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Bank of America's shares have outperformed the industry over the past six months. The company's earnings have surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate in each of the trailing four quarters. Efforts to expand into new markets and digital offerings will likely enhance cross selling opportunities. Also, rise in loan balances, higher interest rates and efforts to control expenses will likely support profits. Further, the bank's enhanced capital deployment actions (approved by the Federal Reserve) reflect strong balance sheet position. However, dismal performance of capital markets amid tough operation backdrop has been hurting the bank’s investment banking and trading operations, which in turn will hurt revenue growth. Litigation issues related to its business misconducts in the pre-crisis period are likely to lead to higher legal costs.”

A number of other research firms also recently commented on BAC. HSBC reaffirmed a hold rating on shares of Societe Generale in a research report on Thursday, April 4th. Oppenheimer set a $15.00 target price on shares of Strongbridge Biopharma and gave the stock a buy rating in a research report on Tuesday, March 26th. Atlantic Securities downgraded shares of Bank of America from an overweight rating to a neutral rating and set a $30.81 target price for the company. in a research report on Tuesday, April 30th. Berenberg Bank downgraded shares of to a hold rating and cut their target price for the stock from GBX 283 ($3.70) to GBX 103 ($1.35) in a research report on Monday, June 17th. Finally, BMO Capital Markets raised shares of Bank of America from a market perform rating to an outperform rating and set a $37.00 target price for the company in a research report on Monday, June 17th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have given a hold rating and eight have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. Bank of America presently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $32.52.

NYSE:BAC opened at $29.45 on Wednesday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.96, a quick ratio of 0.91 and a current ratio of 0.91. Bank of America has a 12 month low of $22.66 and a 12 month high of $31.91. The company has a market cap of $280.02 billion, a P/E ratio of 10.95, a PEG ratio of 1.17 and a beta of 1.53. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $28.28.

Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) last posted its earnings results on Tuesday, April 16th. The financial services provider reported $0.70 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.65 by $0.05. Bank of America had a net margin of 25.42% and a return on equity of 11.79%. The business had revenue of $23 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $23.24 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $0.62 EPS. The firm’s revenue was down .4% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, equities analysts predict that Bank of America will post 2.81 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, June 28th. Stockholders of record on Friday, June 7th were paid a dividend of $0.15 per share. This represents a $0.60 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.04%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, June 6th. Bank of America’s dividend payout ratio is presently 22.99%.

Bank of America declared that its Board of Directors has authorized a stock buyback program on Thursday, June 27th that allows the company to buyback $30.90 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization allows the financial services provider to reacquire up to 11.6% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are often a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.

In other news, insider Dean C. Athanasia sold 129,615 shares of Bank of America stock in a transaction on Wednesday, April 17th. The shares were sold at an average price of $29.78, for a total transaction of $3,859,934.70. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 243,617 shares in the company, valued at approximately $7,254,914.26. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Company insiders own 0.17% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. CNB Bank lifted its stake in shares of Bank of America by 188.4% during the 1st quarter. CNB Bank now owns 949 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $26,000 after buying an additional 620 shares in the last quarter. Cranbrook Wealth Management LLC lifted its stake in shares of Bank of America by 86.1% during the 4th quarter. Cranbrook Wealth Management LLC now owns 1,081 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $27,000 after buying an additional 500 shares in the last quarter. Karp Capital Management Corp purchased a new position in shares of Bank of America during the 4th quarter valued at $31,000. Paragon Capital Management LLC purchased a new position in shares of Bank of America during the 1st quarter valued at $33,000. Finally, Semmax Financial Advisors Inc. purchased a new position in shares of Bank of America during the 4th quarter valued at $34,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 68.19% of the company’s stock.

Bank of America Company Profile

Bank of America Corporation, through its subsidiaries, provides banking and financial products and services for individual consumers, small- and middle-market businesses, institutional investors, large corporations, and governments worldwide. It operates through four segments: Consumer Banking, Global Wealth & Investment Management (GWIM), Global Banking, and Global Markets.

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