Brokerages Expect First Defiance Financial (NASDAQ:FDEF) to Post $0.63 EPS

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First Defiance Financial (NASDAQ:FDEF) has been assigned an average broker rating score of 2.25 (Buy) from the four analysts that cover the company, Zacks Investment Research reports. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold recommendation, one has assigned a buy recommendation and one has issued a strong buy recommendation on the company. First Defiance Financial’s rating score has improved by 15.7% from three months ago as a result of a number of analysts’ ratings changes.

Brokers have set a twelve-month consensus target price of $30.50 for the company and are expecting that the company will post $0.63 earnings per share for the current quarter, according to Zacks. Zacks has also assigned First Defiance Financial an industry rank of 56 out of 255 based on the ratings given to related companies.

Several equities analysts have recently weighed in on FDEF shares. BidaskClub upgraded shares of First Defiance Financial from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Saturday, October 19th. Sandler O’Neill upgraded shares of First Defiance Financial from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, September 11th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of First Defiance Financial from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $36.00 target price on the stock in a research note on Tuesday, October 29th.

In other First Defiance Financial news, CEO Donald P. Hileman sold 1,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, August 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $26.72, for a total transaction of $26,720.00. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 71,940 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,922,236.80. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. 2.36% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Meeder Asset Management Inc. grew its stake in First Defiance Financial by 25.9% during the 3rd quarter. Meeder Asset Management Inc. now owns 2,151 shares of the savings and loans company’s stock worth $62,000 after buying an additional 442 shares during the last quarter. Zebra Capital Management LLC raised its stake in shares of First Defiance Financial by 8.4% in the second quarter. Zebra Capital Management LLC now owns 8,364 shares of the savings and loans company’s stock valued at $239,000 after acquiring an additional 648 shares in the last quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp boosted its holdings in First Defiance Financial by 0.6% in the 2nd quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 129,798 shares of the savings and loans company’s stock valued at $3,708,000 after purchasing an additional 729 shares in the last quarter. Bowling Portfolio Management LLC boosted its holdings in First Defiance Financial by 1.8% in the 2nd quarter. Bowling Portfolio Management LLC now owns 53,323 shares of the savings and loans company’s stock valued at $1,523,000 after purchasing an additional 968 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Strs Ohio boosted its holdings in First Defiance Financial by 4.3% in the 2nd quarter. Strs Ohio now owns 24,200 shares of the savings and loans company’s stock valued at $691,000 after purchasing an additional 1,000 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 63.96% of the company’s stock.

NASDAQ FDEF traded down $0.13 during trading on Tuesday, hitting $31.27. The company had a trading volume of 41,700 shares, compared to its average volume of 58,203. The company’s fifty day moving average is $29.52 and its 200-day moving average is $28.34. First Defiance Financial has a one year low of $22.78 and a one year high of $31.83. The company has a market cap of $620.25 million, a price-to-earnings ratio of 14.02 and a beta of 0.98. The company has a current ratio of 1.01, a quick ratio of 1.00 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.35.

First Defiance Financial (NASDAQ:FDEF) last announced its earnings results on Monday, October 21st. The savings and loans company reported $0.68 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.60 by $0.08. First Defiance Financial had a return on equity of 12.16% and a net margin of 27.21%. The company had revenue of $40.73 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $40.15 million. As a group, equities analysts anticipate that First Defiance Financial will post 2.45 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, November 22nd. Shareholders of record on Friday, November 15th will be paid a dividend of $0.22 per share. This is a boost from First Defiance Financial’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.19. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, November 14th. This represents a $0.88 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.81%. First Defiance Financial’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 34.08%.

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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