First Defiance Financial (NASDAQ:FDEF) Short Interest Up 75.3% in September

First Defiance Financial (NASDAQ:FDEF) was the recipient of a significant increase in short interest in September. As of September 30th, there was short interest totalling 369,100 shares, an increase of 75.3% from the August 30th total of 210,600 shares. Based on an average daily volume of 59,800 shares, the short-interest ratio is currently 6.2 days. Approximately 1.9% of the company’s stock are short sold.

In other news, CEO Donald P. Hileman sold 1,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, August 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $26.72, for a total transaction of $26,720.00. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 71,940 shares in the company, valued at $1,922,236.80. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. 2.36% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the business. Renaissance Technologies LLC raised its holdings in shares of First Defiance Financial by 4.2% in the second quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 836,700 shares of the savings and loans company’s stock worth $23,905,000 after buying an additional 33,400 shares during the last quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. raised its holdings in shares of First Defiance Financial by 4.8% in the second quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 268,877 shares of the savings and loans company’s stock worth $7,520,000 after buying an additional 12,303 shares during the last quarter. Charles Schwab Investment Management Inc. raised its holdings in shares of First Defiance Financial by 29.8% in the second quarter. Charles Schwab Investment Management Inc. now owns 150,203 shares of the savings and loans company’s stock worth $4,292,000 after buying an additional 34,444 shares during the last quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp raised its holdings in shares of First Defiance Financial by 0.6% in the second quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 129,798 shares of the savings and loans company’s stock worth $3,708,000 after buying an additional 729 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Acadian Asset Management LLC raised its holdings in shares of First Defiance Financial by 43.3% in the second quarter. Acadian Asset Management LLC now owns 102,677 shares of the savings and loans company’s stock worth $2,933,000 after buying an additional 31,046 shares during the last quarter. 63.99% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

A number of equities research analysts recently commented on the stock. Sandler O’Neill raised shares of First Defiance Financial from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, September 11th. ValuEngine cut shares of First Defiance Financial from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research report on Tuesday, July 2nd. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of First Defiance Financial from a “hold” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research report on Wednesday, October 2nd. Finally, BidaskClub cut shares of First Defiance Financial from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Tuesday. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the company. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $33.00.

NASDAQ:FDEF traded up $0.08 during midday trading on Friday, reaching $28.06. 78,693 shares of the stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 79,495. First Defiance Financial has a 12-month low of $22.78 and a 12-month high of $31.30. The business has a 50-day moving average of $27.70 and a two-hundred day moving average of $28.18. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.35, a quick ratio of 1.00 and a current ratio of 1.01. The stock has a market capitalization of $553.17 million, a PE ratio of 12.58 and a beta of 0.99.

First Defiance Financial (NASDAQ:FDEF) last posted its earnings results on Monday, July 22nd. The savings and loans company reported $0.61 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.57 by $0.04. First Defiance Financial had a net margin of 27.02% and a return on equity of 11.64%. The company had revenue of $39.48 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $39.58 million. Research analysts anticipate that First Defiance Financial will post 2.39 earnings per share for the current year.

About First Defiance Financial

First Defiance Financial Corp. operates as a unitary thrift holding company that provides community-based financial services in northwest Ohio, northeast Indiana, and southeastern Michigan. It offers checking accounts, money market accounts, savings accounts, term certificate accounts, demand deposits, and certificates of deposits, as well as certificate of deposit account registry service; and commercial real estate, commercial, consumer finance, 1-4 family residential real estate, construction, and home equity and improvement loans.

Further Reading: Stock Split

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