Ellie Mae Inc (NASDAQ:ELLI) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “strong-buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report released on Wednesday.

According to Zacks, “Ellie Mae, Inc. operates electronic mortgage origination networks in the United States. The Company’s network and technology-enabled solutions help streamline and automate the mortgage origination process. Solutions offered by Ellie include Encompass software, a comprehensive operating system that handles key business and management functions involved in running a mortgage origination business, and serves as a gateway to the Ellie Mae Network. Through its solutions the Company also offers services like: automated preparation of the disclosure and closing documents; electronic document management and websites and electronic connectivity. Ellie Mae, Inc. is headquartered in Pleasanton, California. “

Several other equities research analysts have also issued reports on the stock. Morgan Stanley reiterated an “equal weight” rating and set a $115.00 target price (up from $106.00) on shares of Ellie Mae in a research report on Thursday, July 20th. J P Morgan Chase & Co reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of Ellie Mae in a research report on Friday, September 1st. ValuEngine upgraded shares of Ellie Mae from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, September 1st. Needham & Company LLC reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $100.00 target price (down from $135.00) on shares of Ellie Mae in a research report on Sunday, July 30th. Finally, Royal Bank Of Canada upgraded shares of Ellie Mae from a “sector perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and lifted their target price for the company from $90.00 to $105.00 in a research report on Wednesday, October 18th. Seven research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and ten have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $110.71.

Ellie Mae (NASDAQ:ELLI) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, October 26th. The software maker reported $0.53 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.40 by $0.13. Ellie Mae had a net margin of 18.08% and a return on equity of 10.74%. The company had revenue of $107.00 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $105.62 million. During the same period last year, the business earned $0.60 earnings per share. Ellie Mae’s revenue was up 6.6% compared to the same quarter last year.

Ellie Mae announced that its Board of Directors has authorized a share buyback program on Tuesday, September 5th that allows the company to repurchase $250.00 million in shares. This repurchase authorization allows the software maker to purchase up to 8.6% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase programs are often an indication that the company’s board believes its stock is undervalued.

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In related news, EVP Gates Cathleen Schreiner sold 1,200 shares of Ellie Mae stock in a transaction on Wednesday, September 6th. The shares were sold at an average price of $84.58, for a total value of $101,496.00. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 45,049 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $3,810,244.42. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, insider Sigmund Anderman sold 12,000 shares of Ellie Mae stock in a transaction on Friday, October 20th. The stock was sold at an average price of $89.24, for a total transaction of $1,070,880.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 98,321 shares in the company, valued at $8,774,166.04. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders sold 24,608 shares of company stock valued at $2,135,134.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its stake in shares of Ellie Mae by 1.9% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 2,637,165 shares of the software maker’s stock worth $289,851,000 after buying an additional 49,323 shares during the period. BlackRock Inc. increased its stake in shares of Ellie Mae by 83,812.6% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 2,189,279 shares of the software maker’s stock worth $219,519,000 after buying an additional 2,186,670 shares during the period. Alliancebernstein L.P. increased its stake in shares of Ellie Mae by 10.6% in the second quarter. Alliancebernstein L.P. now owns 1,046,902 shares of the software maker’s stock worth $115,065,000 after buying an additional 100,103 shares during the period. Baillie Gifford & Co. increased its stake in shares of Ellie Mae by 51.5% in the third quarter. Baillie Gifford & Co. now owns 818,296 shares of the software maker’s stock worth $67,207,000 after buying an additional 278,321 shares during the period. Finally, FMR LLC increased its stake in shares of Ellie Mae by 1.2% in the second quarter. FMR LLC now owns 727,992 shares of the software maker’s stock worth $80,014,000 after buying an additional 8,843 shares during the period.

About Ellie Mae

Ellie Mae, Inc is a provider of on-demand software solutions and services for the residential mortgage industry in the United States. Banks, credit unions, mortgage lenders and mortgage brokers use the Company’s Encompass mortgage management solution to originate and fund mortgages. The Company’s Encompass software is an enterprise solution that handles functions involved in running the business of originating mortgages, including customer relationship management; loan processing; underwriting; preparation of application, disclosure and closing documents; funding and closing the loan for the borrower; compliance with regulatory and investor requirements, and overall enterprise management.

Analyst Recommendations for Ellie Mae (NASDAQ:ELLI)

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