MFA Finl Inc/SH (NYSE:MFA) was the target of a large increase in short interest in July. As of July 31st, there was short interest totalling 3,692,213 shares, an increase of 46.3% from the July 13th total of 2,524,081 shares. Currently, 0.9% of the company’s stock are sold short. Based on an average daily volume of 3,192,268 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is currently 1.2 days.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Thornburg Investment Management Inc. raised its stake in MFA Finl Inc/SH by 1.5% during the first quarter. Thornburg Investment Management Inc. now owns 34,246,878 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $257,879,000 after acquiring an additional 500,000 shares during the period. FMR LLC raised its stake in MFA Finl Inc/SH by 1.5% during the second quarter. FMR LLC now owns 27,671,491 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $209,749,000 after acquiring an additional 401,691 shares during the period. Millennium Management LLC raised its stake in MFA Finl Inc/SH by 42.4% during the first quarter. Millennium Management LLC now owns 16,065,397 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $120,972,000 after acquiring an additional 4,780,528 shares during the period. Morgan Stanley raised its stake in MFA Finl Inc/SH by 5.3% during the second quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 11,789,316 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $89,363,000 after acquiring an additional 591,649 shares during the period. Finally, Nan Shan Life Insurance Co. Ltd. raised its stake in MFA Finl Inc/SH by 12.0% during the second quarter. Nan Shan Life Insurance Co. Ltd. now owns 10,681,442 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $80,965,000 after acquiring an additional 1,141,426 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 78.17% of the company’s stock.

MFA has been the topic of a number of recent analyst reports. ValuEngine lowered shares of MFA Finl Inc/SH from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, May 2nd. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of MFA Finl Inc/SH from a “hold” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $8.75 target price on the stock in a research note on Saturday, May 12th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. lowered shares of MFA Finl Inc/SH from an “overweight” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research note on Monday, July 23rd. Finally, Compass Point set a $8.00 target price on shares of MFA Finl Inc/SH and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, August 2nd. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have given a hold rating and one has issued a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $8.44.

MFA opened at $7.71 on Friday. The stock has a market cap of $3.01 billion, a P/E ratio of 9.78 and a beta of 0.41. MFA Finl Inc/SH has a fifty-two week low of $6.72 and a fifty-two week high of $8.90.

MFA Finl Inc/SH (NYSE:MFA) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, August 2nd. The real estate investment trust reported $0.17 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.18 by ($0.01). The business had revenue of $49.94 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $58.57 million. MFA Finl Inc/SH had a return on equity of 9.82% and a net margin of 77.32%. MFA Finl Inc/SH’s revenue was down 18.3% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $0.20 EPS. analysts expect that MFA Finl Inc/SH will post 0.74 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, July 31st. Investors of record on Friday, June 29th were paid a dividend of $0.20 per share. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, June 28th. This represents a $0.80 annualized dividend and a yield of 10.38%. MFA Finl Inc/SH’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 101.27%.

About MFA Finl Inc/SH

MFA Financial, Inc, through its subsidiaries, operates as a real estate investment trust (REIT) in the United States. The company invests in residential mortgage assets, including non-agency mortgage-backed securities (MBS), agency MBS, residential whole loans, credit risk transfer securities, and mortgage servicing rights related assets.

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