MFA Financial Inc. (NYSE:MFA ) was the recipient of a significant growth in short interest in the month of September. As of September 30th, there was short interest totalling 11,067,102 shares, a growth of 39.9% from the September 15th total of 7,911,946 shares. Based on an average trading volume of 1,964,454 shares, the short-interest ratio is currently 5.6 days. Approximately 3.0% of the shares of the company are short sold.

Several equities research analysts recently issued reports on the company. Zacks Investment Research raised MFA Financial from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $8.50 price objective for the company in a research note on Tuesday, September 20th. Credit Suisse Group AG reissued a “hold” rating and set a $7.50 price objective on shares of MFA Financial in a research note on Sunday, September 11th. FBR & Co lowered MFA Financial from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating and set a $7.50 price objective for the company. in a research note on Tuesday, September 6th. Finally, Deutsche Bank AG set a $7.50 price objective on MFA Financial and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, August 9th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have issued a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating to the company. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $7.60.

Shares of MFA Financial (NYSE:MFA ) opened at 7.21 on Monday. MFA Financial has a 52 week low of $5.61 and a 52 week high of $7.86. The company has a market cap of $2.68 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 9.15 and a beta of 0.49. The firm’s 50-day moving average price is $7.49 and its 200 day moving average price is $7.29.

MFA Financial (NYSE:MFA ) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, August 3rd. The company reported $0.20 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.19 by $0.01. The firm earned $66.80 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $74.09 million. MFA Financial had a return on equity of 10.48% and a net margin of 63.80%. MFA Financial’s revenue was down 17.6% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $0.20 EPS. On average, equities research analysts forecast that MFA Financial will post $0.77 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, October 31st. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, September 28th will be paid a $0.20 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, September 26th. This represents a $0.80 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 11.10%. MFA Financial’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 101.27%.

Large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. MSI Financial Services Inc raised its stake in shares of MFA Financial by 6.8% in the third quarter. MSI Financial Services Inc now owns 23,787 shares of the company’s stock worth $178,000 after buying an additional 1,521 shares during the last quarter. Creative Planning raised its stake in shares of MFA Financial by 120.7% in the third quarter. Creative Planning now owns 21,793 shares of the company’s stock worth $163,000 after buying an additional 11,920 shares during the last quarter. Williams Jones & Associates LLC raised its stake in shares of MFA Financial by 2.1% in the second quarter. Williams Jones & Associates LLC now owns 439,702 shares of the company’s stock worth $3,197,000 after buying an additional 9,000 shares during the last quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. raised its stake in shares of MFA Financial by 5.4% in the second quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 1,520,030 shares of the company’s stock worth $11,051,000 after buying an additional 78,243 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Bellwether Investment Group LLC acquired a new stake in shares of MFA Financial during the second quarter worth about $3,750,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 84.68% of the company’s stock.

About MFA Financial

MFA Financial, Inc is a real estate investment trust (REIT). The Company operates as a holding company and conducts its real estate finance businesses through its subsidiaries. The Company’s segment is investing in residential mortgage assets. It invests in residential mortgage assets, including Agency mortgage backed securities (MBS), Non-Agency MBS, residential whole loans and CRT securities.

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