Jefferies Financial Group (NYSE:JEF) Upgraded at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Jefferies Financial Group (NYSE:JEF) from a hold rating to a strong-buy rating in a report released on Thursday, Zacks.com reports. The brokerage currently has $18.00 price target on the financial services provider’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Jefferies Financial Group Inc. is a diversified financial services company. It engaged in investment banking and capital markets, merchant banking and an alternative asset management platform. The company’s financial service businesses are Berkadia which provide commercial mortgage banking, investment sales and servicing; Leucadia Asset Management provide asset management; HomeFed provide a publicly traded real estate company, FXCM provides online foreign exchange trading services and Foursight Capital provide vehicle finance. Jefferies Financial Group Inc. formerly known as Leucadia National Corporation is based in New York, United States. “

A number of other brokerages have also issued reports on JEF. ValuEngine raised shares of Jefferies Financial Group from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note on Wednesday, May 6th. Oppenheimer boosted their price objective on shares of Jefferies Financial Group from $25.00 to $26.00 and gave the company an outperform rating in a research report on Tuesday, June 30th. Finally, TheStreet lowered shares of Jefferies Financial Group from a c- rating to a d+ rating in a research report on Wednesday, April 15th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, one has given a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company. Jefferies Financial Group presently has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $22.33.

Shares of NYSE:JEF opened at $15.57 on Thursday. The firm has a market capitalization of $4.16 billion, a PE ratio of 11.98 and a beta of 1.44. The business has a 50 day simple moving average of $14.77 and a two-hundred day simple moving average of $17.39. Jefferies Financial Group has a 1 year low of $11.20 and a 1 year high of $24.03. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.10, a current ratio of 1.63 and a quick ratio of 1.63.

Jefferies Financial Group (NYSE:JEF) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Monday, June 29th. The financial services provider reported $0.16 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of ($0.03) by $0.19. The firm had revenue of $1.15 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $844.30 million. Jefferies Financial Group had a return on equity of 4.82% and a net margin of 10.16%. Jefferies Financial Group’s quarterly revenue was up 4.2% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the company earned $0.14 EPS. Equities research analysts expect that Jefferies Financial Group will post 0.74 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, August 28th. Stockholders of record on Monday, August 17th will be paid a dividend of $0.15 per share. The ex-dividend date is Friday, August 14th. This represents a $0.60 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.85%. Jefferies Financial Group’s dividend payout ratio is currently 45.45%.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the business. Acadian Asset Management LLC purchased a new position in shares of Jefferies Financial Group in the 4th quarter valued at $55,000. CWM Advisors LLC bought a new stake in Jefferies Financial Group during the first quarter valued at about $40,000. Procyon Private Wealth Partners LLC purchased a new position in Jefferies Financial Group in the fourth quarter valued at about $75,000. Signaturefd LLC raised its holdings in Jefferies Financial Group by 43.6% in the first quarter. Signaturefd LLC now owns 4,292 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $59,000 after purchasing an additional 1,303 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Ancora Advisors LLC bought a new stake in shares of Jefferies Financial Group in the 4th quarter valued at about $132,000. 69.06% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Jefferies Financial Group Company Profile

Jefferies Financial Group Inc, a financial services company, engages in investment banking and capital markets, asset management, and direct investing businesses in the Americas, Europe, and Asia. the company also offers equities research, sales, and trading services; equity finance services comprising financing, securities lending, and other prime brokerage services; and wealth management services to high net worth individuals, their families and businesses, private equity and venture funds, and small institutions.

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