BidaskClub cut shares of Astoria Financial Corporation (NYSE:AF) from a sell rating to a strong sell rating in a research report released on Thursday.

Several other analysts have also recently issued reports on the company. Jefferies Group LLC reiterated a hold rating and issued a $17.00 price objective on shares of Astoria Financial Corporation in a research note on Friday, June 16th. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods upgraded Astoria Financial Corporation from a market perform rating to an outperform rating and set a $25.50 price objective on the stock in a research note on Thursday, April 27th. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, two have issued a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the company. The company has an average rating of Hold and an average target price of $20.25.

Astoria Financial Corporation (NYSE:AF) opened at 19.86 on Thursday. The firm’s 50-day moving average price is $20.10 and its 200 day moving average price is $19.67. The stock has a market capitalization of $2.00 billion, a P/E ratio of 34.60 and a beta of 0.55. Astoria Financial Corporation has a 12-month low of $14.11 and a 12-month high of $21.66.

Astoria Financial Corporation (NYSE:AF) last released its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, July 26th. The savings and loans company reported $0.16 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.13 by $0.03. Astoria Financial Corporation had a return on equity of 4.21% and a net margin of 13.52%. The company had revenue of $90.38 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $91.76 million. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $0.16 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue was down 4.9% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities analysts anticipate that Astoria Financial Corporation will post $0.52 EPS for the current year.

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The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, August 21st. Investors of record on Monday, August 7th will be issued a $0.04 dividend. This represents a $0.16 annualized dividend and a yield of 0.81%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, August 3rd. Astoria Financial Corporation’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 27.59%.

A number of institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. BlackRock Inc. raised its position in Astoria Financial Corporation by 50,276.1% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 11,575,917 shares of the savings and loans company’s stock valued at $237,422,000 after buying an additional 11,552,938 shares during the period. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP raised its position in Astoria Financial Corporation by 3.3% in the first quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 8,517,878 shares of the savings and loans company’s stock valued at $174,702,000 after buying an additional 274,895 shares during the period. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its position in Astoria Financial Corporation by 7.0% in the first quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 8,317,980 shares of the savings and loans company’s stock valued at $170,601,000 after buying an additional 540,568 shares during the period. Wellington Management Group LLP acquired a new position in Astoria Financial Corporation during the first quarter valued at approximately $86,682,000. Finally, Bank of America Corp DE raised its position in Astoria Financial Corporation by 90.3% in the first quarter. Bank of America Corp DE now owns 2,373,224 shares of the savings and loans company’s stock valued at $48,674,000 after buying an additional 1,126,404 shares during the period. 86.47% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About Astoria Financial Corporation

Astoria Financial Corporation is a unitary savings and loan holding company. The Company’s principal business is the operation of its subsidiary, Astoria Bank. Astoria Bank’s primary business is attracting retail deposits from the general public and businesses and investing those deposits, together with funds generated from operations, principal repayments on loans and securities and borrowings, primarily in multi-family and commercial real estate mortgage loans, one- to four-family, or residential, mortgage loans and mortgage-backed securities.

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