Today: MFA Financial Inc. (MFA ) Short Interest Up 39.9% in September

Today: MFA Financial Inc. (MFA ) Short Interest Up 39.9% in September

MFA Financial Inc. (NYSE:MFA ) was the target of a large growth in short interest in September. As of September 30th, there was short interest totalling 11,067,102 shares, a growth of 39.9% from the September 15th total of 7,911,946 shares. Approximately 3.0% of the shares of the stock are sold short. Based on an average daily trading volume, of 1,964,454 shares, the short-interest ratio is presently 5.6 days.

MFA has been the subject of a number of analyst reports. Zacks Investment Research upgraded MFA Financial from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $8.50 price target for the company in a research note on Tuesday, September 20th. Deutsche Bank AG set a $7.50 price objective on shares of MFA Financial and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, August 9th. Credit Suisse Group AG reissued a “hold” rating and set a $7.50 price objective on shares of MFA Financial in a report on Sunday, September 11th. Finally, FBR & Co downgraded shares of MFA Financial from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating and set a $7.50 price objective for the company. in a report on Tuesday, September 6th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have issued a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $7.60.

MFA Financial (NYSE:MFA ) opened at 7.21 on Monday. The company has a 50 day moving average of $7.49 and a 200-day moving average of $7.29. MFA Financial has a one year low of $5.61 and a one year high of $7.86. The company has a market cap of $2.68 billion, a P/E ratio of 9.15 and a beta of 0.49.

MFA Financial (NYSE:MFA ) last released its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, August 3rd. The company reported $0.20 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.19 by $0.01. MFA Financial had a net margin of 63.80% and a return on equity of 10.48%. The company earned $66.80 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $74.09 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company earned $0.20 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was down 17.6% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities analysts expect that MFA Financial will post $0.77 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, October 31st. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, September 28th will be issued a $0.20 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Monday, September 26th. This represents a $0.80 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 11.10%. MFA Financial’s payout ratio is 101.27%.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in MFA. Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its position in MFA Financial by 3.3% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 26,206,949 shares of the company’s stock worth $190,525,000 after buying an additional 840,708 shares during the last quarter. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. boosted its position in MFA Financial by 73.7% in the first quarter. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. now owns 13,206,135 shares of the company’s stock worth $90,462,000 after buying an additional 5,603,221 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Fund Advisors boosted its position in MFA Financial by 20.6% in the second quarter. BlackRock Fund Advisors now owns 12,414,534 shares of the company’s stock worth $90,254,000 after buying an additional 2,122,930 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. boosted its position in MFA Financial by 2.3% in the second quarter. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. now owns 8,776,746 shares of the company’s stock worth $63,807,000 after buying an additional 199,312 shares during the last quarter. Finally, State Street Corp boosted its position in MFA Financial by 0.6% in the first quarter. State Street Corp now owns 6,160,701 shares of the company’s stock worth $42,201,000 after buying an additional 36,873 shares during the last quarter. 84.68% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

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