Morgan Stanley reduced its position in shares of Astoria Financial Corporation (NYSE:AF) by 26.2% during the first quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The firm owned 229,692 shares of the savings and loans company’s stock after selling 81,462 shares during the period. Morgan Stanley’s holdings in Astoria Financial Corporation were worth $4,711,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

A number of other institutional investors have also recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Ameritas Investment Partners Inc. bought a new stake in shares of Astoria Financial Corporation during the first quarter valued at approximately $163,000. US Bancorp DE raised its stake in shares of Astoria Financial Corporation by 2.3% in the first quarter. US Bancorp DE now owns 9,703 shares of the savings and loans company’s stock valued at $199,000 after buying an additional 222 shares during the last quarter. State of Alaska Department of Revenue raised its stake in shares of Astoria Financial Corporation by 2.3% in the first quarter. State of Alaska Department of Revenue now owns 10,100 shares of the savings and loans company’s stock valued at $207,000 after buying an additional 230 shares during the last quarter. Karp Capital Management Corp bought a new stake in shares of Astoria Financial Corporation during the first quarter valued at approximately $349,000. Finally, Russell Investments Group Ltd. bought a new stake in shares of Astoria Financial Corporation during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $387,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 86.63% of the company’s stock.

Astoria Financial Corporation (NYSE:AF) traded down 0.47% on Friday, hitting $19.21. The stock had a trading volume of 120,385 shares. The company has a market cap of $1.93 billion, a PE ratio of 33.47 and a beta of 0.56. Astoria Financial Corporation has a one year low of $14.11 and a one year high of $21.66. The stock has a 50-day moving average of $19.97 and a 200-day moving average of $19.74.

Astoria Financial Corporation (NYSE:AF) last announced its earnings results on Wednesday, July 26th. The savings and loans company reported $0.16 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate 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 business had revenue of $90.38 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $91.76 million. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $0.16 earnings per share. The company’s quarterly revenue was down 4.9% on a year-over-year basis. Equities analysts expect that Astoria Financial Corporation will post $0.54 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, August 21st. Investors of record on Monday, August 7th will be paid a dividend of $0.04 per share. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, August 3rd. This represents a $0.16 annualized dividend and a yield of 0.83%. Astoria Financial Corporation’s dividend payout ratio is currently 27.59%.

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Several equities research analysts have commented on AF shares. BidaskClub lowered shares of Astoria Financial Corporation from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research report on Saturday, June 24th. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods upgraded shares of Astoria Financial Corporation from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and set a $25.50 target price on the stock in a research report on Thursday, April 27th. Finally, Jefferies Group LLC reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $17.00 price target on shares of Astoria Financial Corporation in a research note on Friday, June 16th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, two have given a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $20.25.

In other news, Vice Chairman Gerard C. Keegan sold 34,153 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, August 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $19.94, for a total transaction of $681,010.82. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 228,414 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $4,554,575.16. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, insider Monte N. Redman sold 84,942 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, August 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $20.02, for a total value of $1,700,538.84. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 241,264 shares of company stock valued at $4,834,651 in the last ninety days. Company insiders own 9.76% of the company’s stock.

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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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Astoria Financial Corporation (NYSE:AF)

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