Stephens Inc. AR reduced its holdings in Synchrony Financial (NYSE: SYF – Get a rating) by 24.5% in the first quarter, according to its last disclosure to the SEC. The fund held 12,745 shares of the financial services provider after selling 4,143 shares during the period. Stephens Inc. AR’s holdings in Synchrony Financial were worth $444,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.
A number of other institutional investors and hedge funds also changed their positions in the company. Victory Capital Management Inc. increased its holdings of Synchrony Financial shares by 68.6% in the first quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 2,134,059 shares of the financial services provider valued at $77,684,000 after buying an additional 868,254 shares in the last quarter. Thoroughbred Financial Services LLC purchased a new stake in Synchrony Financial stock in the first quarter worth approximately $302,000. Banque Pictet & Cie SA increased its stake in Synchrony Financial shares by 29.1% in the first quarter. Banque Pictet & Cie SA now owns 64,285 shares of the financial services provider valued at $2,238,000 after buying an additional 14,497 shares in the last quarter. Sandy Spring Bank increased its holdings of Synchrony Financial shares by 26.1% in the first quarter. Sandy Spring Bank now owns 1,450 shares of the financial services provider valued at $50,000 after buying 300 more shares in the last quarter. Finally, Metis Global Partners LLC increased its equity stake in Synchrony Financial by 32.1% in the first quarter. Metis Global Partners LLC now owns 15,909 shares of the financial services provider valued at $554,000 after purchasing an additional 3,866 shares in the last quarter. 98.26% of the shares are held by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
Synchrony Financial Stock up 3.6%
Shares of SYF opened at $34.00 on Thursday. The company has a market cap of $16.38 billion, a PE ratio of 4.96, a price-to-earnings growth ratio of 0.26, and a beta of 1.57. The company’s fifty-day moving average is $31.72 and its two-hundred-day moving average is $36.46. Synchrony Financial has a fifty-two week low of $27.22 and a fifty-two week high of $52.49. The company has a quick ratio of 1.21, a current ratio of 1.21 and a debt ratio of 0.96.
Synchrony Financial (NYSE: SYF – Get a rating) last announced its quarterly results on Monday, July 18. The financial services provider reported earnings per share of $1.60 for the quarter, beating analyst consensus estimates of $1.47 by $0.13. Synchrony Financial had a net margin of 22.76% and a return on equity of 27.06%. During the same period last year, the company posted EPS of $2.12. Analysts expect Synchrony Financial to post earnings per share of 5.64 for the current year.
Synchrony Financial said its board approved a stock repurchase plan on Monday, April 18 that allows the company to repurchase $2.80 billion in outstanding stock. This repurchase authorization allows the financial services provider to repurchase up to 13.6% of its shares through purchases on the open market. Stock buyback plans are often an indication that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.
Synchrony Financial increases its dividend
The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, August 11. Shareholders of record on Monday, August 1 will receive a dividend of $0.23. This represents a dividend of $0.92 on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.71%. The ex-dividend date is Friday, July 29. This is a positive change from Synchrony Financial’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.22. Synchrony Financial’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 13.43%.
Changes to analyst ratings
Several research companies have recently published reports on SYF. TheStreet upgraded Synchrony Financial’s shares from a ‘b-‘ rating to a ‘c+’ rating in a Tuesday, July 19 report. Morgan Stanley cut its price target on Synchrony Financial shares from $40.00 to $31.00 and set an “equal weight” rating for the company in a Tuesday, July 12 report. Goldman Sachs Group raised its price target on Synchrony Financial shares from $40.00 to $45.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a Tuesday, April 19 report. Wells Fargo & Company cut shares of Synchrony Financial from an “overweight” rating to an “equal weight” rating and lowered its price target for the stock from $45.00 to $32.00 in a report from the Wednesday July 13. To finish, StockNews.com moved shares of Synchrony Financial from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a Monday, July 25, report. One research analyst rated the stock with a sell rating, four issued a hold rating and twelve gave the company’s stock a buy rating. According to MarketBeat, Synchrony Financial currently has a consensus rating of “Moderate Buy” and an average target price of $45.76.
Synchrony Financial Company Profile
Synchrony Financial, together with its subsidiaries, operates as a consumer financial services company in the United States. It provides credit products, such as credit cards, commercial credit products and consumer installment loans. The company also offers private label credit cards, dual cards, co-branded and general purpose credit cards, short and long term installment loans and consumer banking products; and deposit products, including certificates of deposit, individual retirement accounts, money market accounts, and savings accounts for retail and commercial customers, as well as deposits through brokerage firms in third-party securities.
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