Zacks: First Defiance Financial (FDEF) Given Consensus Rating of “Buy” by Analysts

Shares of First Defiance Financial (NASDAQ:FDEF) have been given an average broker rating score of 2.33 (Buy) from the three brokers that cover the stock, Zacks Investment Research reports. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company.

Brokers have set a 12 month consensus price target of $58.50 for the company and are expecting that the company will post $0.98 EPS for the current quarter, according to Zacks. Zacks has also assigned First Defiance Financial an industry rank of 38 out of 265 based on the ratings given to related companies.

FDEF has been the subject of several analyst reports. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of First Defiance Financial from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, December 19th. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods restated a “hold” rating and issued a $60.00 target price on shares of First Defiance Financial in a research note on Friday, December 22nd. BidaskClub downgraded shares of First Defiance Financial from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Friday, January 5th. Sandler O’Neill restated a “buy” rating and issued a $64.00 target price on shares of First Defiance Financial in a research note on Tuesday, January 23rd. Finally, ValuEngine downgraded shares of First Defiance Financial from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, February 2nd.

In other news, Director Mark Andrew Robison bought 1,132 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, February 6th. The stock was acquired at an average cost of $52.83 per share, for a total transaction of $59,803.56. Following the completion of the purchase, the director now owns 2,203 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $116,384.49. The acquisition was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, Director Stephen L. Boomer sold 755 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, December 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $53.22, for a total transaction of $40,181.10. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 12,809 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $681,694.98. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 5,755 shares of company stock valued at $317,411 over the last 90 days. Insiders own 3.40% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of FDEF. SG Americas Securities LLC bought a new position in First Defiance Financial during the 4th quarter valued at $119,000. Handelsbanken Fonder AB bought a new position in First Defiance Financial during the 4th quarter valued at $208,000. Highbridge Capital Management LLC bought a new position in First Defiance Financial during the 3rd quarter valued at $226,000. MetLife Investment Advisors LLC bought a new position in First Defiance Financial during the 4th quarter valued at $262,000. Finally, OxFORD Asset Management LLP bought a new position in First Defiance Financial during the 3rd quarter valued at $273,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 65.19% of the company’s stock.

First Defiance Financial (NASDAQ FDEF) traded down $0.49 during trading on Tuesday, hitting $54.22. 43,200 shares of the stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 30,347. First Defiance Financial has a 52 week low of $46.71 and a 52 week high of $56.91. The firm has a market capitalization of $555.69, a price-to-earnings ratio of 16.94 and a beta of 0.93. The company has a quick ratio of 1.00, a current ratio of 1.01 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.40.

First Defiance Financial (NASDAQ:FDEF) last released its quarterly earnings data on Monday, January 22nd. The savings and loans company reported $0.94 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.89 by $0.05. First Defiance Financial had a net margin of 21.77% and a return on equity of 9.67%. The company had revenue of $35.28 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $35.00 million. sell-side analysts forecast that First Defiance Financial will post 4.07 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, February 23rd. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, February 6th will be paid a $0.30 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Monday, February 5th. This is an increase from First Defiance Financial’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.25. This represents a $1.20 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.21%. First Defiance Financial’s dividend payout ratio is 37.50%.

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About First Defiance Financial

First Defiance Financial Corp. is a unitary thrift holding company that focuses on traditional banking and property and casualty, life and group health insurance products. The Company operates through its subsidiaries, First Federal Bank of the Midwest (First Federal or the Bank), First Insurance Group of the Midwest, Inc (First Insurance) and First Defiance Risk Management Inc (First Defiance Risk Management).

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