Maxim Group restated their buy rating on shares of Ellington Financial (NYSE:EFC) in a research report released on Wednesday morning. The firm currently has a $19.00 target price on the financial services provider’s stock.
“EFC reported 4Q17 EPS of $0.23, versus its $0.41 dividend. We are maintaining our 2018 EPS estimate of $1.61, and our price target of $19. Our price target equates to 1.0x book value. In our view, mortgage REITs such as EFC should not trade below a valuation level of 1.0x book value in the current environment.”,” Maxim Group’s analyst wrote.
A number of other analysts have also weighed in on EFC. B. Riley lowered shares of Ellington Financial from a buy rating to a neutral rating and cut their price objective for the stock from $17.50 to $16.00 in a research note on Wednesday, November 8th. Deutsche Bank cut their price objective on shares of Ellington Financial from $18.00 to $17.00 and set a buy rating on the stock in a research note on Wednesday, November 8th. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Ellington Financial from a hold rating to a strong sell rating in a research note on Thursday, November 9th. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods set a $17.00 price objective on shares of Ellington Financial and gave the stock a hold rating in a research note on Monday, November 13th. Finally, ValuEngine upgraded shares of Ellington Financial from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note on Friday, December 1st. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have issued a hold rating and five have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. Ellington Financial has an average rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $17.25.
Ellington Financial announced that its Board of Directors has initiated a share buyback program on Tuesday, February 13th that permits the company to buyback 1,550,000 outstanding shares. This buyback authorization permits the financial services provider to repurchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are usually a sign that the company’s board believes its stock is undervalued.
The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, March 15th. Investors of record on Thursday, March 1st will be issued a dividend of $0.41 per share. This represents a $1.64 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 10.80%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, February 28th. Ellington Financial’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 156.19%.
A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in EFC. FMR LLC boosted its holdings in Ellington Financial by 24.0% during the second quarter. FMR LLC now owns 1,522,518 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $24,680,000 after buying an additional 294,734 shares in the last quarter. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. purchased a new stake in Ellington Financial during the second quarter worth $405,000. Arrowstreet Capital Limited Partnership purchased a new stake in Ellington Financial during the second quarter worth $1,245,000. Mutual of America Capital Management LLC boosted its holdings in Ellington Financial by 2.8% during the third quarter. Mutual of America Capital Management LLC now owns 430,003 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $6,790,000 after buying an additional 11,794 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Global X MANAGEMENT CO LLC boosted its holdings in Ellington Financial by 5.7% during the third quarter. Global X MANAGEMENT CO LLC now owns 526,255 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $8,310,000 after buying an additional 28,233 shares in the last quarter. 44.36% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
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Ellington Financial Company Profile
Ellington Financial LLC is a specialty finance company that acquires and manages mortgage-related and other financial assets. The Company’s targeted assets include residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS), backed by loans for which the principal and interest payments are not guaranteed by a United States Government agency or a United States Government-sponsored entity, collectively referred to as non-Agency RMBS; RMBS for which the principal and interest payments are guaranteed by the United States government agency or the United States government-sponsored entity (Agency RMBS); consumer loans and asset-backed securities (ABS) backed by consumer loans; commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS) commercial mortgage loans and other commercial real estate debt; residential mortgage loans; collateralized loan obligations (CLOs); corporate debt and equity, including distressed debt and equity, and mortgage-related derivatives.
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