MFA Financial Goal of Trading Unusually Large Options (NYSE:MFA)

MFA Financial, Inc. (NYSE:MFA – Get Rating) saw unusual options trading on Monday. Stock traders bought 12,554 put options on the stock. This represents a 595% increase from the typical daily volume of 1,807 put options.

MFA Financial Trading down 4.5%

MFA stock was down $0.44 at midday Monday, hitting $9.30. 30,534 shares of the company were traded, against an average volume of 1,402,312. MFA Financial has a 52-week low of $9.53 and a 52-week high of $19.20. The company has a 50-day moving average of $11.41 and a 200-day moving average of $12.91.

MFA Financial Announces Dividend

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, October 31. Shareholders of record on Friday, September 30 will receive a dividend of $0.44. The ex-date of this dividend is Thursday, September 29. This represents an annualized dividend of $1.76 and a dividend yield of 18.92%. MFA Financial’s payout ratio is -338.46%.

Insider Activity at MFA Financial

Separately, director Robin Josephs purchased 2,350 shares of the company in a trade on Wednesday, September 14. The shares were acquired at an average cost of $10.67 per share, with a total value of $25,074.50. Following the completion of the acquisition, the director now owns 28,828 shares of the company, valued at approximately $307,594.76. The purchase was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed on the SEC’s website. Separately, CEO Craig L. Knutson purchased 2,471 shares of the company in a trade on Wednesday, September 14. The shares were acquired at an average cost of $10.81 per share, with a total value of $26,711.51. Following the completion of the acquisition, the CEO now owns 349,682 shares of the company, valued at approximately $3,780,062.42. The purchase was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed on the SEC’s website. Additionally, director Robin Josephs purchased 2,350 shares of the company in a trade dated Wednesday, September 14. The shares were acquired at an average price of $10.67 per share, with a total value of $25,074.50. Following the purchase, the director now directly owns 28,828 shares of the company, valued at $307,594.76. Disclosure of this purchase can be found here. Insiders have purchased 10,096 shares of the company worth $108,606 over the past ninety days. 0.63% of the shares are held by insiders.

Institutional investors weigh in on MFA Financial

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently changed their stakes in the company. State Street Corp increased its position in MFA Financial by 9.0% in the 1st quarter. State Street Corp now owns 10,109,396 shares of the real estate investment trust valued at $41,770,000 after acquiring an additional 835,717 shares in the last quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC increased its position in MFA Financial by 6.0% during the 4th quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 7,137,117 shares of the real estate investment trust worth $32,545,000 after acquiring an additional 404,324 shares last quarter. Charles Schwab Investment Management Inc. increased its position in MFA Financial by 2.5% in Q1. Charles Schwab Investment Management Inc. now owns 4,951,627 shares of the real estate investment trust worth $19,956,000 after acquiring an additional 122,878 shares in the last quarter. LSV Asset Management strengthened its position in MFA Financial by 1.3% in the 1st quarter. LSV Asset Management now owns 4,506,700 shares of the real estate investment trust valued at $18,162,000 after acquiring an additional 57,800 shares last quarter. Finally, Beach Point Capital Management LP strengthened its position in MFA Financial by 22.3% during the 1st quarter. Beach Point Capital Management LP now owns 3,292,055 shares of the real estate investment trust worth $13,267,000 after acquiring an additional 600,000 shares in the last quarter. 62.15% of the shares are currently held by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Analysts set new price targets

Several research analysts have weighed in on the company recently. TheStreet upgraded MFA Financial from a “c-” to a “d+” rating in a Friday, July 1 research note. JMP Securities cut its price target on MFA Financial from $18.00 to $15.00 and set a “market outperformance” rating for the company in a Tuesday, June 14 research report. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods upgraded MFA Financial from an “outperforming” rating to a “market performing” rating and set a price target of $12.75 for the company. in a research report on Monday, July 18. Credit Suisse Group lowered its price target on MFA Financial to $15.00 in a Friday, July 22 research report. Finally, StockNews.com upgraded MFA Financial from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a Monday, August 8 research report. One financial analyst has assigned the stock a sell rating, three have assigned a hold rating and two have assigned the stock a buy rating. According to MarketBeat, MFA Financial currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $14.25.

About MFA Financial

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MFA Financial, Inc, together with its subsidiaries, operates as a real estate investment trust (REIT) in the United States. The Company invests in residential mortgage assets, including non-agency mortgage-backed securities (MBS), agency MBS and credit risk transfer securities; entire residential loans, including purchased performing loans, deteriorated purchased loans and non-performing loans; and mortgage servicing rights assets.

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