First Defiance Financial (NASDAQ:FDEF) saw a large increase in short interest during the month of January. As of January 31st, there was short interest totalling 648,500 shares, an increase of 24.4% from the January 15th total of 521,200 shares. Currently, 3.4% of the company’s stock are short sold. Based on an average daily volume of 85,500 shares, the short-interest ratio is presently 7.6 days.

In related news, CEO Donald P. Hileman sold 1,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Thursday, November 21st. The shares were sold at an average price of $30.02, for a total value of $30,020.00. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Corporate insiders own 2.36% of the company’s stock.

A number of large investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. State Street Corp boosted its stake in First Defiance Financial by 2.6% during the 4th quarter. State Street Corp now owns 420,504 shares of the savings and loans company’s stock worth $13,242,000 after purchasing an additional 10,736 shares during the period. Thrivent Financial for Lutherans boosted its stake in First Defiance Financial by 17.9% during the 4th quarter. Thrivent Financial for Lutherans now owns 288,960 shares of the savings and loans company’s stock worth $9,099,000 after purchasing an additional 43,885 shares during the period. Acadian Asset Management LLC boosted its stake in First Defiance Financial by 47.7% during the 4th quarter. Acadian Asset Management LLC now owns 201,473 shares of the savings and loans company’s stock worth $6,344,000 after purchasing an additional 65,026 shares during the period. Charles Schwab Investment Management Inc. boosted its stake in First Defiance Financial by 5.1% during the 4th quarter. Charles Schwab Investment Management Inc. now owns 171,126 shares of the savings and loans company’s stock worth $5,389,000 after purchasing an additional 8,259 shares during the period. Finally, Panagora Asset Management Inc. boosted its stake in First Defiance Financial by 31.2% during the 4th quarter. Panagora Asset Management Inc. now owns 161,651 shares of the savings and loans company’s stock worth $5,090,000 after purchasing an additional 38,419 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 65.20% of the company’s stock.

Shares of NASDAQ:FDEF opened at $28.49 on Friday. The stock has a market cap of $559.32 million, a P/E ratio of 11.53 and a beta of 0.95. The firm has a fifty day moving average price of $30.59 and a 200 day moving average price of $29.41. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.29, a current ratio of 1.01 and a quick ratio of 1.00. First Defiance Financial has a 1-year low of $25.50 and a 1-year high of $32.39.

First Defiance Financial (NASDAQ:FDEF) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Monday, January 20th. The savings and loans company reported $0.66 earnings per share for the quarter, hitting the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.66. The firm had revenue of $41.31 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $40.35 million. First Defiance Financial had a net margin of 26.54% and a return on equity of 12.38%. Sell-side analysts expect that First Defiance Financial will post 2.56 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, February 21st. Investors of record on Friday, February 14th will be paid a dividend of $0.22 per share. This represents a $0.88 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.09%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, February 13th. First Defiance Financial’s dividend payout ratio is currently 34.78%.

A number of research analysts recently commented on the stock. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of First Defiance Financial from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, February 6th. ValuEngine raised shares of First Defiance Financial from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Thursday, February 6th. Finally, BidaskClub downgraded shares of First Defiance Financial from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research report on Friday, February 7th.

First Defiance Financial Company Profile

First Defiance Financial Corp. operates as a unitary thrift holding company that provides community-based financial services in northwest Ohio, northeast Indiana, and southeastern Michigan. It offers checking accounts, money market accounts, savings accounts, term certificate accounts, demand deposits, and certificates of deposits, as well as certificate of deposit account registry service; and commercial real estate, commercial, consumer finance, 1-4 family residential real estate, construction, and home equity and improvement loans.

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