Fifth Third Bancorp (FITB) Stock Rising on Branch Consolidation Plans

NEW YORK (TheStreet) --Shares of Fifth Third Bancorp (FITB) are higher by 2.42% to $21.55 in early afternoon trading on Monday, after the financial services company announced its plan to consolidate or sell approximately 100 branches and approximately 30 other purchased properties.

The bank said this initiative is intended to help "improve efficiency, competitiveness and the quality of its customers' experience."

Fifth Third Bancorp expects this program to be completed by the middle of next year.

"This plan reflects the continued progression of our work on providing an integrated customer experience. Meeting the evolving preferences of how our customers interact with us is our top priority. Over the past several years, we have made significant improvements to our mobile banking options and our sales and staffing models, and plan to tailor our branch network in concert with these changes," company CEO Kevin Kabat said in a statement.

Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates FIFTH THIRD BANCORP as a Buy with a ratings score of B+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate FIFTH THIRD BANCORP (FITB) a BUY. This is driven by multiple strengths, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, increase in net income, good cash flow from operations and expanding profit margins. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself."

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