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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Citigroup, SunTrust Banks, First Horizon National, BB&T and U.S. Bancorp

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For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – November 18, 2019 – Zacks.com announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include: Citigroup (C - Free Report) , SunTrust Banks , First Horizon National Corp. (FHN - Free Report) , BB&T Corp. and U.S. Bancorp (USB - Free Report) .

Here are highlights from Friday’s Analyst Blog:

Bank Stock Roundup: C, STI, USB and More

Performance of major bank stocks suggests a bleak picture over the last five trading sessions. Continued ambiguity over trade conflict and several other geopolitical matters weighed on investor sentiment. Moreover, slowdown in business investment has negatively impacted banking activities.

Mortgage rates increased last week, hitting 3.75%, on decline in recession fears. Despite this, investors are apprehensive about parking funds in the housing market, thanks to the volatility in the financial world.

Notably, mortgage applications increased 9.6% last week, per the latest data from the Mortgage Bankers Association. In addition, the refinance share of mortgage activity came in at 61.9% of all applications.

Talking about company-specific headlines, banks continued with restructuring and streamlining initiatives. These efforts are anticipated to attract more business and support revenue growth. Further, with technology advancement, increase in digital offerings by major banks was at the peak.

(Read: Bank Stock Roundup for the Week Ending Oct 25, 2019)

Important Developments of the Week

1. Citigroup is likely to join forces with tech-giant, Google, to help the latter offer consumer checking accounts. In other words, clients will be able to access their personal bank accounts through the Google Pay app. The plan is to launch this service from 2020. Google is also partnering with Palo Alto-based Stanford Federal Credit Union. Both Citigroup and Credit Union will be responsible for the fulfillment of financial and compliance requirements. (Read more: Citi to Enable Google Pay Customers to Access Bank Accounts)

2. SunTrust Banks has announced a deal to divest 30 branches across North Carolina, Virginia and Georgia to First Horizon National Corp. The transaction, expected to close early next year, is still subject to regulatory approvals. As part of the deal, First Horizon will assume deposits worth nearly $2.4 billion for a premium of 3.40%, and roughly $410 million in loans. This branch divestiture is part of the Department of Justice’s (“DOJ”) conditional approval for SunTrust’s “merger of equals” deal with BB&T Corp. (Read more: SunTrust to Sell Branches, Gets DOJ Nod for BB&T Merger Deal)

3. U.S. Bancorp recently announced an additional share-repurchase program of up to $2.5 billion, following the Fed’s approval. This adds to June’s buyback authorization of up to $3 billion, which commenced on Jul 1. The company intends to make these repurchases through Jun 30, 2020. (Read more: U.S. Bancorp Announces Additional Share Buyback of Up to $2.5B)

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