Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Ship Finance International Ltd. (NYSE:SFL) from a strong sell rating to a hold rating in a research report report published on Wednesday.

According to Zacks, “Ship Finance is a major shipowning company. Including newbuildings, Ship Finance owns a fleet consisting of vessels, including crude oil tankers (VLCC and Suezmax), oil/bulk/ore vessels, container vessels, dry bulk carriers, jack-up drilling rigs and seismic vessels. The fleet is one of the largest in the world and most of the vessels are employed on medium- or long-term charters. “

Several other research firms have also recently weighed in on SFL. Clarkson Capital reissued a neutral rating on shares of Ship Finance International in a research report on Friday, June 17th. Jefferies Group set a $15.00 target price on Ship Finance International and gave the stock a hold rating in a research report on Wednesday, July 27th. Finally, Seaport Global Securities initiated coverage on Ship Finance International in a research report on Monday, August 22nd. They issued a neutral rating and a $16.00 target price for the company. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and one has assigned a buy rating to the company. Ship Finance International currently has an average rating of Hold and an average target price of $17.00.

Ship Finance International (NYSE:SFL) opened at 14.63 on Wednesday. Ship Finance International has a 12 month low of $9.83 and a 12 month high of $17.80. The company has a 50-day moving average of $14.95 and a 200-day moving average of $14.85. The company has a market cap of $1.37 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 8.55 and a beta of 1.28.

Ship Finance International (NYSE:SFL) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, August 24th. The company reported $0.42 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.51 by $0.09. Ship Finance International had a net margin of 41.55% and a return on equity of 17.86%. Analysts predict that Ship Finance International will post $1.97 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, September 29th. Stockholders of record on Monday, September 12th were paid a $0.45 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, September 8th. This represents a $1.80 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 12.30%. Ship Finance International’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 90.45%.

Several hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in SFL. BlackRock Inc. raised its stake in shares of Ship Finance International by 65.5% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 32,301 shares of the company’s stock worth $449,000 after buying an additional 12,783 shares during the period. TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC raised its stake in shares of Ship Finance International by 26.5% in the first quarter. TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC now owns 238,344 shares of the company’s stock worth $3,311,000 after buying an additional 49,876 shares during the period. Prudential Financial Inc. raised its stake in shares of Ship Finance International by 56.5% in the first quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. now owns 523,609 shares of the company’s stock worth $7,273,000 after buying an additional 189,100 shares during the period. American Century Companies Inc. raised its stake in shares of Ship Finance International by 13.7% in the second quarter. American Century Companies Inc. now owns 58,825 shares of the company’s stock worth $867,000 after buying an additional 7,092 shares during the period. Finally, Zebra Capital Management LLC raised its stake in shares of Ship Finance International by 36.5% in the first quarter. Zebra Capital Management LLC now owns 134,956 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,875,000 after buying an additional 36,108 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 30.05% of the company’s stock.

About Ship Finance International

Ship Finance International Limited is a holding, and international ship owning and chartering company. The Company is engaged in the ownership and operation of vessels and offshore related assets, and also involved in the charter, purchase and sale of assets. Its assets consist of approximately 20 oil tankers, over 20 dry bulk carriers, approximately 20 container vessels, including a newbuilding, two car carriers, two jack-up drilling rigs, two ultra-deepwater drilling units, five offshore supply vessels, two chemical tankers and two newbuilding oil product tankers.

5 Day Chart for NYSE:SFL

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