Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of MFA Financial (NYSE:MFA) from a hold rating to a strong sell rating in a report published on Saturday.

According to Zacks, “MFA Mortgage Investments, Inc. operates as a real estate investment trust primarily engaged in the business of investing in mortgage-backed securities. The company also has indirect investment in Lealand Place, a multifamily apartment property located in Lawrenceville, Georgia. In addition, it provides investment advisory services to a third-party institution with respect to their MBS portfolio investments. “

MFA has been the topic of a number of other research reports. BidaskClub downgraded shares of MFA Financial from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note on Saturday, October 28th. JMP Securities downgraded shares of MFA Financial from an outperform rating to a market perform rating in a research note on Friday, October 20th. Royal Bank of Canada reaffirmed a buy rating and set a $9.00 price target on shares of MFA Financial in a research note on Tuesday, November 7th. Finally, B. Riley reaffirmed a neutral rating on shares of MFA Financial in a research note on Friday, November 3rd. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have given a hold rating and one has assigned a buy rating to the stock. MFA Financial currently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $9.08.

Shares of MFA Financial (MFA) opened at $7.80 on Friday. The stock has a market cap of $3,096.16, a price-to-earnings ratio of 10.68 and a beta of 0.66. MFA Financial has a 12 month low of $7.58 and a 12 month high of $8.90.

MFA Financial (NYSE:MFA) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, November 2nd. The real estate investment trust reported $0.15 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.18 by ($0.03). The business had revenue of $55.86 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $71.13 million. MFA Financial had a net margin of 59.03% and a return on equity of 9.33%. MFA Financial’s revenue for the quarter was down 13.5% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the company earned $0.21 EPS. analysts predict 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 Wednesday, January 31st. Shareholders of record on Thursday, December 28th will be given a dividend of $0.20 per share. This represents a $0.80 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 10.26%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, December 27th. MFA Financial’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 109.59%.

In other news, insider Ronald A. Freydberg acquired 20,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Monday, November 6th. The shares were acquired at an average price of $7.78 per share, for a total transaction of $155,600.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 579,714 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $4,510,174.92. The acquisition was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Insiders own 0.92% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the business. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank increased its position in MFA Financial by 10.9% during the second quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank now owns 15,899 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $133,000 after acquiring an additional 1,563 shares during the last quarter. Suntrust Banks Inc. increased its position in MFA Financial by 3.1% during the second quarter. Suntrust Banks Inc. now owns 65,255 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $546,000 after acquiring an additional 1,979 shares during the last quarter. Virtu KCG Holdings LLC increased its position in MFA Financial by 6.1% during the second quarter. Virtu KCG Holdings LLC now owns 37,588 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $315,000 after acquiring an additional 2,147 shares during the last quarter. ProShare Advisors LLC grew its holdings in shares of MFA Financial by 3.0% in the second quarter. ProShare Advisors LLC now owns 105,848 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $888,000 after purchasing an additional 3,108 shares during the last quarter. Finally, MML Investors Services LLC grew its holdings in shares of MFA Financial by 19.9% in the second quarter. MML Investors Services LLC now owns 21,131 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $177,000 after purchasing an additional 3,511 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 80.61% of the company’s stock.

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About MFA Financial

MFA Financial, Inc is engaged in the real estate finance business. The Company’s subsidiaries invest in residential mortgage assets, including Non-Agency mortgage-backed securities (MBS), Agency MBS, residential whole loans and credit risk transfer (CRT) securities. The Company’s Non-Agency MBS portfolio primarily consists of Legacy Non-Agency MBS and 3 Year Step-up securities.

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