Two firms tracking the shares of Pinnacle Financial Partners have lowered their ratings on Nashville's biggest bank company following its second-quarter profit report. Keefe Bruyette & Woods analyst Jefferson Harralson has trimmed Pinnacle to 'market perform' from 'outperform' but maintained his $54 price target. And analysts at Portales Partners have made a similar move, going to 'sector perform.' Pinnacle shares, which took a dip yesterday following the profit report, are up 1.6 percent to $55.49 (Ticker: PNFP) this morning.
Southeast Financial Credit Union has become ensnared in the New York attorney general's case against an Indianapolis company that sells study guides. AG Eric Schneiderman is accusing The College Network of using false and deceptive business practices.
The suit alleges that The College Network charged consumers approximately $500 for each study guide and required prospective students to purchase upfront guides for every course they would need to earn their degree from Excelsior. In many cases, the total cost of the network’s program exceeded $10,000, which forced most consumers to accept the financing offered by The College Network. In addition, in many cases, the network did not disclose that the loans were being provided by Southeast Financial Credit Union.
A spokesman for the Franklin-based credit union, which has about $450 million in assets and last year posted a net loss of $3.1 million, says the institution shouldn't be a co-defendant in the case against The College Network. Read more here.
Shares of Franklin Financial Network will be added to the prominent Russell 2000 index of small-cap stocks later this month. Chairman Richard Herrington says the move will add to the visibility of the stock (Ticker: FSB), which came to market earlier this spring at $21 and has since climbed to about $22.30.
Analysts at Wunderlich Securities have started covering the shares of newly public local bank holding company Franklin Financial Network and Avenue Financial Holdings. The firm has given Franklin Financial a 'buy' rating and price target of $28 — up from the stock's current level (Ticker: FSB) of about $22 — but stopped at 'hold' for Avenue. The latter (Ticker: AVNU) is seen climbing to $13.50 from the $11.55 at which it closed last Friday.
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