Citigroup Upgrades Westpac Banking (WBK) to “Buy”

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Citigroup upgraded shares of Westpac Banking (NYSE:WBK) from a neutral rating to a buy rating in a research note published on Tuesday, Marketbeat.com reports.

WBK has been the subject of a number of other research reports. Macquarie cut shares of Westpac Banking from an outperform rating to a neutral rating in a report on Friday, August 17th. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Westpac Banking from a sell rating to a buy rating and set a $25.00 price objective for the company in a report on Sunday, July 15th. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, two have issued a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has an average rating of Hold and an average price target of $25.00.

WBK opened at $19.55 on Tuesday. Westpac Banking has a fifty-two week low of $18.22 and a fifty-two week high of $25.59. The firm has a market capitalization of $64.84 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 11.24 and a beta of 1.20.

The business also recently announced a special dividend, which will be paid on Monday, December 31st. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, November 13th will be paid a dividend of $0.6766 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, November 9th. This represents a dividend yield of 7.09%. Westpac Banking’s dividend payout ratio is currently 79.31%.

Several hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Advisor Partners LLC increased its stake in shares of Westpac Banking by 19.2% during the third quarter. Advisor Partners LLC now owns 20,779 shares of the bank’s stock worth $416,000 after purchasing an additional 3,344 shares in the last quarter. HL Financial Services LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Westpac Banking during the third quarter worth about $630,000. Wells Fargo & Company MN increased its stake in shares of Westpac Banking by 11.1% during the third quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 309,659 shares of the bank’s stock worth $6,197,000 after purchasing an additional 30,820 shares in the last quarter. Comerica Bank increased its stake in shares of Westpac Banking by 5.9% during the third quarter. Comerica Bank now owns 194,640 shares of the bank’s stock worth $3,642,000 after purchasing an additional 10,792 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Moody National Bank Trust Division purchased a new stake in shares of Westpac Banking during the third quarter worth about $2,771,000. 0.56% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Westpac Banking Company Profile

Westpac Banking Corporation provides various banking and financial services in Australia, New Zealand, Asia, the Pacific region, and internationally. It operates through five divisions: Consumer Bank, Business Bank, BT Financial Group, Westpac Institutional Bank, and Westpac New Zealand. It offers everyday banking, savings, term deposit, moving to Australia, under 21 and student, business, community solutions one, not-for-profit savings, and foreign currency accounts; term, tailor-made, and farm management deposits; debit, credit, and travel money cards; home, personal, investment, small business, and commercial loans; and equipment, automotive, cash flow, property, and insurance premium financing services.

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Analyst Recommendations for Westpac Banking (NYSE:WBK)

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