Walker & Dunlop (WD) Downgraded to “Sell” at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Walker & Dunlop (NYSE:WD) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report released on Saturday morning.

According to Zacks, “Walker & Dunlop, LLC is engaged in providing commercial real estate financial services in the United States, with a primary focus on multifamily lending. The Company also offers service loans for life insurance companies, commercial banks and other institutional investors as a loan broker. The Multifamily and FHA Finance groups of Walker & Dunlop are focused on lending to property owners, investors, and developers of multifamily properties across the country. The Capital Markets and Investment Services groups provide a broad range of advisory, financing, investment consulting and related services. Walker & Dunlop’s Healthcare Finance group provides debt financing for healthcare properties. The Company’s Principle Investments include origination, underwriting, execution and management of commercial real estate opportunities across property types and geographies within the continental United States. Walker & Dunlop, LLC is based in Bethesda, Maryland. “

Other research analysts have also recently issued research reports about the company. Wedbush reiterated a hold rating and issued a $58.00 price target on shares of Walker & Dunlop in a research note on Tuesday, September 25th. ValuEngine cut Walker & Dunlop from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note on Saturday, October 6th. Finally, JMP Securities cut their price target on Walker & Dunlop from $65.00 to $60.00 and set a market outperform rating on the stock in a research note on Thursday, November 1st. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating and four have given a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $61.75.

Shares of NYSE:WD opened at $47.23 on Friday. The firm has a market capitalization of $1.48 billion, a PE ratio of 9.70 and a beta of 1.09. The company has a quick ratio of 8.48, a current ratio of 8.48 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.56. Walker & Dunlop has a 52 week low of $41.96 and a 52 week high of $61.44.

Walker & Dunlop (NYSE:WD) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, October 31st. The financial services provider reported $1.17 EPS for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.32 by ($0.15). Walker & Dunlop had a net margin of 29.89% and a return on equity of 18.23%. The business had revenue of $184.70 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $203.03 million. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $1.06 EPS. Walker & Dunlop’s revenue for the quarter was up 2.8% on a year-over-year basis. On average, research analysts anticipate that Walker & Dunlop will post 4.95 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, December 4th. Investors of record on Friday, November 16th will be issued a $0.25 dividend. This represents a $1.00 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.12%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, November 15th. Walker & Dunlop’s dividend payout ratio is currently 21.01%.

In other news, President Howard W. Smith III sold 25,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, October 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $52.87, for a total transaction of $1,321,750.00. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, Director E. John Rice, Jr. sold 4,644 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, September 4th. The shares were sold at an average price of $54.25, for a total value of $251,937.00. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 22,579 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,224,910.75. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders sold 54,644 shares of company stock valued at $2,930,687. 11.70% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Several large investors have recently bought and sold shares of WD. Principal Financial Group Inc. boosted its position in shares of Walker & Dunlop by 1.3% during the first quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 238,245 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $14,156,000 after buying an additional 3,132 shares during the period. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA boosted its position in shares of Walker & Dunlop by 34.0% during the second quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA now owns 12,738 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $709,000 after buying an additional 3,234 shares during the period. Aperio Group LLC boosted its position in shares of Walker & Dunlop by 76.9% during the second quarter. Aperio Group LLC now owns 10,379 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $578,000 after buying an additional 4,513 shares during the period. TD Asset Management Inc. boosted its position in shares of Walker & Dunlop by 1,335.3% during the second quarter. TD Asset Management Inc. now owns 48,800 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $2,716,000 after buying an additional 45,400 shares during the period. Finally, Wells Fargo & Company MN boosted its position in shares of Walker & Dunlop by 2.9% during the second quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 168,819 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $9,395,000 after buying an additional 4,795 shares during the period. 79.75% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

About Walker & Dunlop

Walker & Dunlop, Inc, through its subsidiaries, originates, sells, and services a range of multifamily and other commercial real estate loans for owners and developers of real estate in the United States. The company offers multifamily properties and commercial real estate finance products, such as first mortgage loans, second trust loans, supplemental financings, construction loans, mezzanine loans, and bridge/interim loans.

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