Equitable Holdings To Buy Back $1B In Stock; Street Is Bullish

Shares of Equitable Holdings rose 1.3% in Wednesday’s extended trading after the diversified financial services company announced a new stock repurchase program of $1 billion.

Equitable Holdings’ (EQH) CFO, Anders Malmström said, “The uninterrupted execution of our capital management program highlights the strength and resiliency of our balance sheet. Combined with our strong performance amidst a challenging year, we remain confident in our ability to generate sustainable cash flows and return capital to shareholders.”

Besides the share repurchase program, the company also announced a regular quarterly dividend of $0.17 per share, which will be payable on March 11 to existing shareholders as of March 4. Its annual dividend of $0.68 per share reflects a dividend yield of 2.4%.

On Feb. 11, Wells Fargo analyst Elyse Greenspan maintained a Buy rating and set a price target of $31 (11.2% upside potential). The analyst also raised her earnings estimates for 4Q and 2020.

In a note to investors, Greenspan said, “We view EQH’s relationship with AllianceBernstein as a key differentiator as it provides an efficient and less capital intensive business model, differentiated services and investment returns, and better trade execution for complex annuity hedging programs.” (See Equitable Holdings stock analysis on TipRanks)

Meanwhile, the rest of the Street has a bullish outlook on the stock, with a Strong Buy consensus rating based on 6 unanimous Buys. The average analyst price target of $32 implies upside potential of about 15% from current levels. Shares have gained around 6.9% in value over the past year.

Furthermore, EQH scores an “8 out of 10” on TipRanks’ Smart Score rating system, indicating that the stock has strong potential to outperform market expectations.

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