HFF (NYSE:HF) Rating Increased to Buy at Zacks Investment Research

HFF (NYSE:HF) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “buy” rating in a note issued to investors on Wednesday, September 19th. The firm presently has a $51.00 price objective on the financial services provider’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price target indicates a potential upside of 36.91% from the company’s current price.

According to Zacks, “HFF INC., operates out of eighteen offices nationwide and is a leading provider of commercial real estate and capital market services to the U.S. commercial real estate industry. HFF offers clients a fully integrated national capital markets platform including debt placement, investment sales, structured finance, private equity, note sale and note sales advisory services and commercial loan servicing. HFF incorporates capital markets knowledge with local real estate knowledge to successfully complete any type of real estate transaction, regardless of size or complexity. HFF consistently maintains the capital markets relationships critical to successfully accomplish the clients’ specific capital needs in today’s highly complex and rapidly shifting capital markets environment. “

Other analysts have also issued research reports about the company. ValuEngine upgraded HFF from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, July 19th. TheStreet upgraded HFF from a “c” rating to a “b-” rating in a report on Friday, July 27th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating and four have assigned a hold rating to the stock. The company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $46.00.

Shares of HF traded down $1.03 during trading on Wednesday, reaching $37.25. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 216,669 shares, compared to its average volume of 274,077. HFF has a twelve month low of $32.99 and a twelve month high of $51.74. The firm has a market cap of $1.66 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 15.28 and a beta of 1.07.

HFF (NYSE:HF) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 26th. The financial services provider reported $0.61 EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.48 by $0.13. The firm had revenue of $153.73 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $139.00 million. HFF had a return on equity of 37.50% and a net margin of 15.72%. On average, analysts anticipate that HFF will post 2.63 earnings per share for the current year.

In related news, CEO Mark Gibson sold 34,763 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, September 25th. The stock was sold at an average price of $44.13, for a total transaction of $1,534,091.19. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 422,028 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $18,624,095.64. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, President Joe Thornton, Jr. sold 12,131 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Monday, September 24th. The shares were sold at an average price of $43.92, for a total value of $532,793.52. Following the transaction, the president now directly owns 434,607 shares in the company, valued at $19,087,939.44. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders have sold 132,244 shares of company stock valued at $5,696,330. 4.90% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

A number of hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of HF. ACG Wealth bought a new stake in HFF during the 3rd quarter valued at approximately $237,000. United Services Automobile Association boosted its stake in HFF by 8.0% during the 2nd quarter. United Services Automobile Association now owns 32,909 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $1,130,000 after purchasing an additional 2,428 shares during the period. Northern Trust Corp lifted its position in shares of HFF by 4.1% in the 2nd quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 493,979 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $16,969,000 after acquiring an additional 19,656 shares during the period. WCM Investment Management CA lifted its position in shares of HFF by 40.7% in the 2nd quarter. WCM Investment Management CA now owns 143,863 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $4,942,000 after acquiring an additional 41,647 shares during the period. Finally, Bank of New York Mellon Corp lifted its position in shares of HFF by 8.7% in the 2nd quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 739,639 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $25,407,000 after acquiring an additional 59,122 shares during the period. 90.97% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

About HFF

HFF, Inc provides commercial real estate and capital market services to the users and providers of capital primarily in the United States commercial real estate industry. The company offers debt placement services, such as construction and construction/mini-permanent loans, adjustable and fixed rate mortgages, entity level debts, mezzanine debts, forward delivery loans, tax exempt financing, and sale/leaseback financing to the owners of various properties comprising office, retail, industrial, hotel, multi-housing, student housing, self-storage, senior living, independent living, assisted living, nursing homes, condominiums and condominium conversions, mixed-use properties, and land.

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