First Defiance Financial (FDEF) Lifted to “Buy” at Zacks Investment Research

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Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of First Defiance Financial (NASDAQ:FDEF) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note published on Friday morning, Zacks.com reports. They currently have $33.00 target price on the savings and loans company’s stock.

According to Zacks, “First Defiance Financial Corp. is a unitary thrift holding company that, through its subsidiaries focuses on traditional banking, mortgage banking, and property and casualty, life and group health insurance products. Their traditional banking activities include originating and servicing residential, commercial, and consumer loans and providing a broad range of depository services. “

Several other equities analysts have also recently weighed in on the stock. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods upgraded shares of First Defiance Financial from a market perform rating to an outperform rating and lifted their price objective for the stock from $32.00 to $33.00 in a research report on Monday, December 17th. BidaskClub upgraded shares of First Defiance Financial from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research report on Friday, January 25th. Finally, ValuEngine upgraded shares of First Defiance Financial from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research report on Thursday, February 7th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, one has issued a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has an average rating of Hold and an average target price of $33.67.

NASDAQ FDEF opened at $29.14 on Friday. First Defiance Financial has a twelve month low of $22.78 and a twelve month high of $35.00. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.30, a quick ratio of 1.00 and a current ratio of 1.00. The company has a market cap of $590.78 million, a price-to-earnings ratio of 13.07 and a beta of 0.99.

First Defiance Financial (NASDAQ:FDEF) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Monday, January 21st. The savings and loans company reported $0.56 earnings per share for the quarter, hitting the consensus estimate of $0.56. First Defiance Financial had a net margin of 28.21% and a return on equity of 11.70%. The firm had revenue of $36.86 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $37.40 million. As a group, equities analysts expect that First Defiance Financial will post 2.34 earnings per share for the current year.

In related news, Director Mark Andrew Robison purchased 887 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Thursday, March 7th. The shares were acquired at an average cost of $30.04 per share, for a total transaction of $26,645.48. The purchase was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, CEO Donald P. Hileman sold 1,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, February 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $29.35, for a total transaction of $29,350.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 2.36% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Federated Investors Inc. PA grew its holdings in shares of First Defiance Financial by 80.0% during the 3rd quarter. Federated Investors Inc. PA now owns 272,751 shares of the savings and loans company’s stock valued at $8,213,000 after acquiring an additional 121,238 shares in the last quarter. Franklin Resources Inc. grew its holdings in shares of First Defiance Financial by 100.0% during the 3rd quarter. Franklin Resources Inc. now owns 201,600 shares of the savings and loans company’s stock valued at $6,070,000 after acquiring an additional 100,800 shares in the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc grew its holdings in shares of First Defiance Financial by 101.9% during the 3rd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc now owns 873,117 shares of the savings and loans company’s stock valued at $26,290,000 after acquiring an additional 440,571 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. grew its holdings in shares of First Defiance Financial by 86.6% during the 3rd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 2,139,575 shares of the savings and loans company’s stock valued at $64,422,000 after acquiring an additional 992,763 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Wells Fargo & Company MN grew its holdings in shares of First Defiance Financial by 106.7% during the 3rd quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 80,357 shares of the savings and loans company’s stock valued at $2,419,000 after acquiring an additional 41,473 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 64.40% of the company’s stock.

About First Defiance Financial

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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