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Citizens (CFG) Stock Falls on News of Employees Faking Data (revised)

Zacks Equity Research

Troubles started for Citizens Financial Group, Inc. CFG after 11 former and current employees across five states disclosed that they faked data regarding appointments under the “Citizens Checkup” program. The report was published in Wall Street Journal.

The news resulted in a 1.5% drop in the company’s share price yesterday.

Citizens Financial had launched the program in Feb 2016, to build stronger relationships with customers and have a better idea of their needs. It also meant to reach customers who preferred digital means of conducting transactions.

In its latest earnings report, Citizens Financial declared that the program resulted in about 400,000 scheduled appointments in 2016. Also, per the company, consumers rated their experience between ‘very to completely satisfied’.

The employees said that, due to the pressure put on them to have a certain number of appointments, they resorted to distorting the actual numbers.

The company stated that there is no data supporting the falsification of the program in any manner. It has, however, decided to take a thorough review of the matter, to be conducted by the chief conduct officer.

The company might get affected by this news unless proven wrong.

Shares of Citizens Financial returned 40.1% over the last six months, outperforming the 19.2% growth for the Zacks categorized Financial - Savings and Loan industry.

Currently, Citizens Financial carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Some better-ranked stocks in this space include KB Financial Group Inc. KB, Two River Bancorp TRCB and DBS Group Holdings Ltd. DBSDY. All these stocks sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

KB Financial witnessed an upward earnings estimate revision of 4.6% for the current year in the past 30 days. Also, its share price surged 62.1% in the last one year.

Two River Bancorp’s earnings estimates were revised upward by 5.6% for the current year, in the past 60 days. Further, in the last one year, the stock gained 88.2%.

DBS Group witnessed a 4.0% upward current year earnings estimate revision over the last 30 days. Its shares increased 21.8%, over the last one year.

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(We are re-issuing this article to correct a mistake. The original, published earlier today, March 30, 2017, should no longer be relied on.)

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