Ellington Financial (EFC) Cut to Sell at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Ellington Financial (NYSE:EFC) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report released on Wednesday morning.

According to Zacks, “Ellington Financial LLC is a finance company that engages in acquiring and managing mortgage-related assets, including residential mortgage backed securities, prime jumbo, Alternative A-paper and subprime residential mortgage loans. The Company’s targeted assets also include mortgage-related derivatives, corporate debt and equity securities and derivatives. Ellington Financial LLC is headquartered in Old Greenwich, USA. “

A number of other brokerages have also recently commented on EFC. B. Riley cut Ellington Financial from a buy rating to a neutral rating in a research report on Friday, February 15th. Maxim Group reaffirmed a buy rating and set a $19.50 price target on shares of Ellington Financial in a research report on Thursday, February 14th. Finally, TheStreet raised Ellington Financial from a c rating to a b rating in a research report on Wednesday, October 31st. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have assigned a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the company. The company has a consensus rating of Hold and an average target price of $18.50.

NYSE:EFC traded up $0.19 during trading on Wednesday, reaching $16.82. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 151,579 shares, compared to its average volume of 85,279. The company has a market capitalization of $509.34 million, a PE ratio of 11.93 and a beta of 0.45. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 3.12, a current ratio of 1.80 and a quick ratio of 1.80. Ellington Financial has a 12 month low of $14.12 and a 12 month high of $17.48.

Ellington Financial (NYSE:EFC) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, February 20th. The financial services provider reported $0.41 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.36 by $0.05. Ellington Financial had a return on equity of 7.56% and a net margin of 34.56%. The firm had revenue of $36.85 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $34.11 million. Sell-side analysts anticipate that Ellington Financial will post 1.55 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, March 15th. Stockholders of record on Friday, March 1st will be given a dividend of $0.41 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, February 28th. This represents a $1.64 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 9.75%. Ellington Financial’s dividend payout ratio is presently 116.31%.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of EFC. BBR Partners LLC lifted its position in shares of Ellington Financial by 29.1% during the 4th quarter. BBR Partners LLC now owns 1,560,501 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $23,922,000 after buying an additional 351,744 shares during the last quarter. Citigroup Inc. lifted its holdings in Ellington Financial by 10.4% during the 4th quarter. Citigroup Inc. now owns 881,829 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $13,519,000 after purchasing an additional 83,124 shares in the last quarter. Barclays PLC lifted its holdings in Ellington Financial by 264.8% during the 4th quarter. Barclays PLC now owns 109,715 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $1,682,000 after purchasing an additional 79,638 shares in the last quarter. Wedge Capital Management L L P NC purchased a new stake in Ellington Financial during the 3rd quarter worth about $1,169,000. Finally, Renaissance Technologies LLC purchased a new stake in Ellington Financial during the 2nd quarter worth about $693,000. 48.20% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About Ellington Financial

Ellington Financial LLC, through its subsidiary Ellington Financial Operating Partnership LLC, operates as a specialty finance company in the United States. The company acquires and manages mortgage-related assets, including residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS) backed by prime jumbo, Alt-A, manufactured housing, and subprime residential mortgage loans; RMBS for which the principal and interest payments are guaranteed by the U.S.

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