Ritholtz Wealth Management increased its stake in shares of Synchrony Financial (NYSE:SYF) by 14.9% during the first quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The institutional investor owned 19,539 shares of the financial services provider’s stock after buying an additional 2,539 shares during the quarter. Ritholtz Wealth Management’s holdings in Synchrony Financial were worth $794,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.
Several other hedge funds have also modified their holdings of SYF. Norges Bank acquired a new stake in shares of Synchrony Financial in the 4th quarter valued at $231,301,000. BlackRock Inc. boosted its holdings in shares of Synchrony Financial by 8.4% in the 1st quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 44,786,257 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $1,821,008,000 after purchasing an additional 3,460,644 shares in the last quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. boosted its holdings in shares of Synchrony Financial by 363.1% in the 4th quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 4,016,700 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $139,420,000 after purchasing an additional 3,149,326 shares in the last quarter. Boston Partners boosted its holdings in shares of Synchrony Financial by 167.0% in the 4th quarter. Boston Partners now owns 3,902,347 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $135,450,000 after purchasing an additional 2,440,528 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Morgan Stanley boosted its holdings in shares of Synchrony Financial by 231.4% in the 4th quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 2,184,234 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $75,815,000 after purchasing an additional 1,525,215 shares in the last quarter. 90.59% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
SYF stock opened at $48.99 on Friday. The stock has a 50-day simple moving average of $44.78. Synchrony Financial has a 1-year low of $21.04 and a 1-year high of $50.96. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.19, a quick ratio of 1.24 and a current ratio of 1.24. The company has a market cap of $28.49 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 13.80, a PEG ratio of 0.36 and a beta of 1.84.
The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, May 13th. Stockholders of record on Monday, May 3rd were given a $0.22 dividend. This represents a $0.88 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.80%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, April 30th. Synchrony Financial’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 33.85%.
Synchrony Financial announced that its Board of Directors has approved a stock buyback plan on Tuesday, May 25th that permits the company to repurchase $2.90 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization permits the financial services provider to repurchase up to 10.7% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are generally an indication that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.
A number of equities research analysts have weighed in on SYF shares. Wells Fargo & Company raised their target price on Synchrony Financial from $41.00 to $48.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a report on Monday, March 15th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. cut their price objective on Synchrony Financial from $49.00 to $48.00 and set an “overweight” rating on the stock in a report on Thursday, April 15th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Synchrony Financial from a “strong-buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $46.00 price objective on the stock. in a report on Monday, May 3rd. TheStreet raised Synchrony Financial from a “c+” rating to a “b” rating in a report on Friday, February 12th. Finally, Evercore ISI began coverage on Synchrony Financial in a report on Wednesday, April 14th. They set an “outperform” rating and a $49.00 price objective on the stock. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and nine have assigned a buy rating to the company. Synchrony Financial presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $42.54.
In other news, insider David P. Melito sold 2,205 shares of Synchrony Financial stock in a transaction dated Monday, April 5th. The stock was sold at an average price of $42.16, for a total value of $92,962.80. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 17,342 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $731,138.72. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Company insiders own 0.44% of the company’s stock.
Synchrony Financial Profile
Synchrony Financial operates as a consumer financial services company in the United States. It provides a range of specialized financing programs and consumer banking products to digital, retail, home, auto, travel, health, and pet industries. The company also offers private label credit cards, dual cards, general purpose co-branded credit cards, and small and medium-sized business credit products; and promotional financing for consumer purchases, such as private label credit cards, dual cards, and installment loans.
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