Ellie Mae (ELLI) Downgraded to Sell at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Ellie Mae (NYSE:ELLI) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note released on Wednesday.

According to Zacks, “Ellie Mae's fourth-quarter results were hurt by weakness in the U.S housing market. Also, the company, which was performing well in the last few years, has been hit badly by the recent decline in mortgage origination volumes. Ellie Mae's serviceable industry, which is concentrated in the financial mortgage industry, is a major headwind, especially at a time when the mortgage origination environment is facing hurdles such as low housing inventory and rising interest rates. Moreover, the company recently inked an all-cash deal worth approximately $3.7 billion, per which, it will to be acquired by private equity firm Thoma Bravo. However, continued momentum in its Data Connect and Investor Connect offerings are aiding the top line. Increased adoption of new products and network strength are driving its per loan revenues.”

Several other equities research analysts also recently weighed in on ELLI. Susquehanna Bancshares started coverage on Ellie Mae in a report on Thursday, November 29th. They issued a negative rating and a $53.00 price objective for the company. Oppenheimer decreased their price objective on Ellie Mae from $92.00 to $80.00 and set an outperform rating for the company in a report on Thursday, November 29th. Zelman & Associates downgraded Ellie Mae from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report on Monday, December 24th. JMP Securities reissued a buy rating and issued a $99.00 price objective on shares of Ellie Mae in a report on Monday, February 11th. Finally, Needham & Company LLC downgraded Ellie Mae from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report on Tuesday, February 12th. Five investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have assigned a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $86.43.

ELLI traded up $0.03 on Wednesday, reaching $99.52. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 537,552 shares, compared to its average volume of 2,344,793. The company has a market capitalization of $3.45 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 96.62, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 7.05 and a beta of 1.38. Ellie Mae has a fifty-two week low of $58.49 and a fifty-two week high of $116.90.

Ellie Mae (NYSE:ELLI) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, February 14th. The software maker reported $0.07 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.11 by ($0.04). The firm had revenue of $116.05 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $113.97 million. Ellie Mae had a net margin of 5.02% and a return on equity of 4.22%. On average, equities research analysts predict that Ellie Mae will post 0.95 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In other news, Director Sigmund Anderman sold 18,128 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, January 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $63.71, for a total transaction of $1,154,934.88. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 25,073 shares in the company, valued at $1,597,400.83. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, EVP Gates Cathleen Schreiner sold 2,549 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, December 28th. The stock was sold at an average price of $64.00, for a total value of $163,136.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 103,161 shares of company stock valued at $8,393,973 in the last 90 days. Company insiders own 3.14% of the company’s stock.

A number of large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP raised its position in Ellie Mae by 17.8% in the fourth quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 632,536 shares of the software maker’s stock worth $39,744,000 after acquiring an additional 95,694 shares in the last quarter. Amalgamated Bank purchased a new position in Ellie Mae in the fourth quarter worth $316,000. Legal & General Group Plc raised its position in Ellie Mae by 54.4% in the fourth quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 18,524 shares of the software maker’s stock worth $1,164,000 after acquiring an additional 6,525 shares in the last quarter. Park West Asset Management LLC purchased a new position in Ellie Mae in the fourth quarter worth $3,331,000. Finally, Harris Associates L P raised its position in Ellie Mae by 131.3% in the fourth quarter. Harris Associates L P now owns 106,000 shares of the software maker’s stock worth $6,660,000 after acquiring an additional 60,180 shares in the last quarter.

About Ellie Mae

Ellie Mae, Inc provides cloud-based platform for the mortgage finance industry in the United States. The company provides Encompass, a proprietary software solution that combines lead management; loan origination and processing; underwriting; preparation of mortgage applications, disclosure agreements, and closing documents; loan funding and closing; compliance with regulatory and investor requirements; and enterprise management.

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