Franklin Resources Inc. increased its holdings in shares of Itau Unibanco Holding SA (NYSE:ITUB) by 1.7% in the 4th quarter, according to the company in its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The fund owned 19,552,062 shares of the bank’s stock after purchasing an additional 332,000 shares during the quarter. Franklin Resources Inc.’s holdings in Itau Unibanco were worth $254,172,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.
A number of other hedge funds have also bought and sold shares of the stock. Clearbridge Investments LLC increased its position in Itau Unibanco by 1.3% during the fourth quarter. Clearbridge Investments LLC now owns 1,211,206 shares of the bank’s stock worth $15,746,000 after buying an additional 15,078 shares during the period. Renaissance Technologies LLC acquired a new position in Itau Unibanco during the fourth quarter worth approximately $33,937,000. ETRADE Capital Management LLC increased its position in Itau Unibanco by 21.2% during the fourth quarter. ETRADE Capital Management LLC now owns 37,637 shares of the bank’s stock worth $489,000 after buying an additional 6,588 shares during the period. Amundi Pioneer Asset Management Inc. increased its position in Itau Unibanco by 4.5% during the fourth quarter. Amundi Pioneer Asset Management Inc. now owns 273,438 shares of the bank’s stock worth $3,555,000 after buying an additional 11,657 shares during the period. Finally, Lazard Asset Management LLC increased its position in Itau Unibanco by 3.8% during the fourth quarter. Lazard Asset Management LLC now owns 1,384,053 shares of the bank’s stock worth $17,992,000 after buying an additional 51,013 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 4.99% of the company’s stock.
Several research analysts have commented on ITUB shares. Deutsche Bank raised Itau Unibanco from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $16.00 price target on the stock in a research report on Monday, December 11th. ValuEngine raised Itau Unibanco from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a research report on Sunday, December 31st. Zacks Investment Research lowered Itau Unibanco from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Wednesday, February 7th. Finally, Credit Suisse Group raised Itau Unibanco from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Monday, March 5th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have assigned a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the stock. Itau Unibanco has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $14.25.
Itau Unibanco (NYSE:ITUB) last released its earnings results on Monday, February 5th. The bank reported $0.26 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.29 by ($0.03). The company had revenue of $7.79 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $8.49 billion. Itau Unibanco had a net margin of 21.51% and a return on equity of 16.87%. sell-side analysts forecast that Itau Unibanco Holding SA will post 1.19 EPS for the current year.
The business also recently announced a monthly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, April 12th. Stockholders of record on Friday, March 2nd will be issued a $0.0046 dividend. This represents a $0.05 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 0.34%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, March 1st. Itau Unibanco’s payout ratio is currently 4.35%.
Itau Unibanco declared that its board has initiated a share buyback plan on Monday, December 18th that authorizes the company to repurchase 28,620,000 outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the bank to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are typically an indication that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.
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Itau Unibanco Profile
Itau Unibanco Holding SA is a holding company. The Company provides a range of financial products and services to individual and corporate clients in Brazil and abroad. The Company operates through three segments: Retail Banking, Wholesale Banking, and Activities with the Market + Corporation. The Retail Banking segment offers banking products and services to a diversified client base of account holders and non-account holders, individuals and companies.
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