Fifth Third Bancorp (NASDAQ:FITB) 3Q Results Buy It “BUY” Rating

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Dallas, Texas 10/24/2013 (Financialstrend) – Fifth Third Bancorp (NASDAQ:FITB) announced its 3 quarter earnings on October 17. It posted earnings per share returns of $0.41. This was $0.01 lower than the analyst’s estimates. In spite of the short fall, the stock managed to post steady gains of 4.51% during trading last week. The rally continued even when trading resumed this week thanks to ratings reiteration by analysts houses post the conference call.

Analysts Andrew Marquardt who represents Evercore has retained his earlier rating of Hold on the company while upping the price target and earnings forecast for 4Q. He has pegged earnings per share for 2014 to come in at $1.7 per share. Earlier he had slotted next year’s EPS at $1.66 per share. He has moved his price target for the stock to $20. At close of business on October 23, the stock was trading at $19.23 per share.

Fifth Third had reported in its 3Q that it has managed to reduce its quarter on quarter spending by 7% and by close to 5% in comparison to last 3Q. It accomplished this by bring down its non interest expenses and due to reduced expenses towards litigation. It also managed to bring down recurring expenses like salary and commission by close to 4% compared to previous quarter by bringing in efficiencies in operations and rationalizing its employee rolls.

On the back of its own improving operations and boasting of a net income of $1.80 billion over the past 12 months, the bank has stepped forward to bid for some of the total 105 branches in Chicago that Royal Bank of Scotland Citizen’s Financial has put on the block. The 105 branches have been valued at containing $6 billion in deposits and close to $2.4 billion in loans. Analysts have termed the sale of RSB assets as a forced distress sale that the bank has been pressurized to undertake at the behest of U.K. government.

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