Meridian Wealth Management LLC raised its stake in shares of Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE:WFC) by 59.3% during the first quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The institutional investor owned 24,298 shares of the financial services provider’s stock after buying an additional 9,049 shares during the period. Wells Fargo & accounts for about 0.8% of Meridian Wealth Management LLC’s holdings, making the stock its 26th largest position. Meridian Wealth Management LLC’s holdings in Wells Fargo & were worth $1,352,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Several other large investors have also bought and sold shares of the stock. Alexandria Capital LLC raised its position in Wells Fargo & by 0.3% in the first quarter. Alexandria Capital LLC now owns 1,826 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $102,000 after buying an additional 6 shares during the period. Brick & Kyle Associates raised its position in Wells Fargo & by 9.5% in the first quarter. Brick & Kyle Associates now owns 1,859 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $103,000 after buying an additional 162 shares during the period. Signature Estate & Investment Advisors LLC purchased a new position in Wells Fargo & during the first quarter valued at approximately $124,000. Gradient Investments LLC raised its position in Wells Fargo & by 58.6% in the first quarter. Gradient Investments LLC now owns 2,494 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $139,000 after buying an additional 921 shares during the period. Finally, Winch Advisory Services LLC raised its position in Wells Fargo & by 0.7% in the first quarter. Winch Advisory Services LLC now owns 2,756 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $153,000 after buying an additional 18 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 76.05% of the company’s stock.

Shares of Wells Fargo & Company (WFC) traded up 1.91% during midday trading on Monday, hitting $52.93. 3,172,963 shares of the stock were exchanged. Wells Fargo & Company has a 12-month low of $43.55 and a 12-month high of $59.99. The firm has a market cap of $262.74 billion, a PE ratio of 13.04 and a beta of 0.95. The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $54.25 and a 200 day moving average price of $55.00.

Wells Fargo & (NYSE:WFC) last announced its earnings results on Friday, July 14th. The financial services provider reported $1.07 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.02 by $0.05. Wells Fargo & had a net margin of 23.25% and a return on equity of 12.65%. The firm had revenue of $22.20 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $22.23 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $1.01 EPS. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up .2% on a year-over-year basis. Analysts predict that Wells Fargo & Company will post $4.17 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Wells Fargo & declared that its Board of Directors has authorized a stock repurchase plan on Wednesday, June 28th that permits the company to repurchase $11.50 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization permits the financial services provider to buy up to 4.2% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are often a sign that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, September 1st. Investors of record on Friday, August 4th will be paid a $0.39 dividend. This is an increase from Wells Fargo &’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.38. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, August 2nd. This represents a $1.56 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.00%. Wells Fargo &’s payout ratio is presently 38.42%.

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Several research firms recently commented on WFC. BidaskClub upgraded shares of Wells Fargo & from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Saturday, June 10th. BMO Capital Markets upgraded shares of Wells Fargo & from an “underperform” rating to a “market perform” rating and reduced their price objective for the stock from $50.00 to $47.00 in a research note on Monday, July 31st. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reiterated an “overweight” rating on shares of Wells Fargo & in a research note on Thursday, July 13th. Royal Bank Of Canada reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $60.00 price objective on shares of Wells Fargo & in a research note on Friday, July 28th. Finally, Buckingham Research reiterated a “neutral” rating and set a $62.00 price objective (up previously from $60.00) on shares of Wells Fargo & in a research note on Monday, July 10th. Six equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, fourteen have assigned a hold rating, fifteen have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $55.87.

In related news, insider Mary T. Mack sold 38,988 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, June 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $52.58, for a total value of $2,049,989.04. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, insider Hope A. Hardison sold 20,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, June 7th. The shares were sold at an average price of $52.07, for a total transaction of $1,041,400.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 109 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $5,675.63. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 131,278 shares of company stock valued at $6,940,120 in the last three months. 0.22% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Wells Fargo & Company Profile

Wells Fargo & Company is a bank holding company. The Company is a diversified financial services company. It has three operating segments: Community Banking, Wholesale Banking, and Wealth and Investment Management. The Company offers its services under three categories: personal, small business and commercial.

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Wells Fargo & (NYSE:WFC)

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