Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Western Asset Mortgage Capital (NYSE:WMC) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note released on Sunday morning, Zacks.com reports.

According to Zacks, “Western Asset Mortgage Capital Corporation is focused on investing in, financing and managing primarily residential mortgage-backed securities for which the principal and interest payments are guaranteed by a U.S. Government agency or federally chartered corporation. Western Asset Mortgage Capital Corporation is headquartered in Pasadena, California. “

Separately, Keefe, Bruyette & Woods began coverage on shares of Western Asset Mortgage Capital in a report on Sunday, March 17th. They issued a market perform rating and a $10.50 price target on the stock.

Shares of Western Asset Mortgage Capital stock opened at $10.09 on Friday. The company has a market cap of $539.70 million, a price-to-earnings ratio of 7.42 and a beta of 0.79. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 7.51, a current ratio of 700.59 and a quick ratio of 700.59. The firm has a fifty day simple moving average of $9.89. Western Asset Mortgage Capital has a 52-week low of $8.26 and a 52-week high of $11.38.

Western Asset Mortgage Capital (NYSE:WMC) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, May 7th. The financial services provider reported $0.32 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, meeting the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.32. The firm had revenue of $15.63 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $20.90 million. Western Asset Mortgage Capital had a net margin of 13.99% and a return on equity of 11.99%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was down 8.7% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $0.34 EPS. As a group, sell-side analysts forecast that Western Asset Mortgage Capital will post 1.28 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, July 26th. Shareholders of record on Monday, July 1st will be issued a $0.31 dividend. This represents a $1.24 annualized dividend and a yield of 12.29%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, June 28th. Western Asset Mortgage Capital’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 91.18%.

In other news, Director Jennifer Murphy bought 10,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, May 21st. The shares were acquired at an average price of $9.98 per share, with a total value of $99,800.00. Following the acquisition, the director now owns 85,000 shares in the company, valued at $848,300. The acquisition was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, CIO Harris Trifon bought 3,500 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Thursday, May 23rd. The stock was purchased at an average cost of $10.05 per share, for a total transaction of $35,175.00. Following the acquisition, the executive now owns 6,003 shares in the company, valued at approximately $60,330.15. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Insiders own 0.49% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of WMC. Catalyst Capital Advisors LLC bought a new stake in shares of Western Asset Mortgage Capital in the 1st quarter worth about $26,000. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA grew its holdings in shares of Western Asset Mortgage Capital by 139.4% in the 1st quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA now owns 9,737 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $100,000 after purchasing an additional 5,669 shares during the last quarter. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. NY grew its holdings in shares of Western Asset Mortgage Capital by 459.1% in the 4th quarter. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. NY now owns 17,137 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $143,000 after purchasing an additional 14,072 shares during the last quarter. Thrivent Financial for Lutherans bought a new stake in shares of Western Asset Mortgage Capital in the 4th quarter worth about $215,000. Finally, Jane Street Group LLC bought a new stake in shares of Western Asset Mortgage Capital in the 4th quarter worth about $218,000. 42.32% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Western Asset Mortgage Capital Company Profile

Western Asset Mortgage Capital Corporation operates as a real estate investment trust in the United States. It focuses on investing in, financing, and managing a portfolio of agency and non-agency residential mortgage-backed securities and commercial mortgage-backed securities, residential whole-loans, residential bridge loans, securitized commercial loans, and other financial assets.

Featured Story: What is the quiet period?

Get a free copy of the Zacks research report on Western Asset Mortgage Capital (WMC)

For more information about research offerings from Zacks Investment Research, visit Zacks.com

Receive News & Ratings for Western Asset Mortgage Capital Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for Western Asset Mortgage Capital and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.