Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of HFF (NYSE:HF) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report released on Wednesday, September 26th.

According to Zacks, “HFF INC., operates out of eighteen offices nationwide and is a leading provider of commercial real estate and capital market services to the U.S. commercial real estate industry. HFF offers clients a fully integrated national capital markets platform including debt placement, investment sales, structured finance, private equity, note sale and note sales advisory services and commercial loan servicing. HFF incorporates capital markets knowledge with local real estate knowledge to successfully complete any type of real estate transaction, regardless of size or complexity. HFF consistently maintains the capital markets relationships critical to successfully accomplish the clients’ specific capital needs in today’s highly complex and rapidly shifting capital markets environment. “

Several other research analysts also recently commented on the stock. TheStreet raised shares of HFF from a c rating to a b- rating in a report on Friday, July 27th. ValuEngine raised shares of HFF from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report on Saturday, July 28th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating and four have given a hold rating to the stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average target price of $46.00.

HF traded down $1.03 on Wednesday, hitting $38.28. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 197,300 shares, compared to its average volume of 274,375. The company has a market cap of $1.66 billion, a PE ratio of 15.50 and a beta of 1.07. HFF has a 12 month low of $32.99 and a 12 month high of $51.74.

HFF (NYSE:HF) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 26th. The financial services provider reported $0.61 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.48 by $0.13. HFF had a net margin of 15.72% and a return on equity of 37.50%. The firm had revenue of $153.73 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $139.00 million. As a group, equities analysts anticipate that HFF will post 2.63 earnings per share for the current year.

In related news, CEO Mark Gibson sold 34,763 shares of HFF stock in a transaction on Tuesday, September 25th. The shares were sold at an average price of $44.13, for a total value of $1,534,091.19. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 422,028 shares in the company, valued at approximately $18,624,095.64. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, President Joe Thornton, Jr. sold 9,141 shares of HFF stock in a transaction on Wednesday, September 26th. The stock was sold at an average price of $43.48, for a total transaction of $397,450.68. Following the completion of the transaction, the president now owns 402,834 shares in the company, valued at approximately $17,515,222.32. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 132,244 shares of company stock valued at $5,696,330 over the last ninety days. 4.90% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Several hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. BlackRock Inc. boosted its stake in shares of HFF by 10.4% during the 2nd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 5,150,489 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $176,919,000 after purchasing an additional 484,003 shares in the last quarter. Wasatch Advisors Inc. boosted its stake in shares of HFF by 8.5% during the 2nd quarter. Wasatch Advisors Inc. now owns 1,810,143 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $62,178,000 after purchasing an additional 141,843 shares in the last quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP boosted its stake in shares of HFF by 0.3% during the 1st quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 1,656,325 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $82,319,000 after purchasing an additional 4,230 shares in the last quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp boosted its stake in shares of HFF by 8.7% during the 2nd quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 739,639 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $25,407,000 after purchasing an additional 59,122 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Northern Trust Corp boosted its stake in shares of HFF by 4.1% during the 2nd quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 493,979 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $16,969,000 after purchasing an additional 19,656 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 90.97% of the company’s stock.

HFF Company Profile

HFF, Inc provides commercial real estate and capital market services to the users and providers of capital primarily in the United States commercial real estate industry. The company offers debt placement services, such as construction and construction/mini-permanent loans, adjustable and fixed rate mortgages, entity level debts, mezzanine debts, forward delivery loans, tax exempt financing, and sale/leaseback financing to the owners of various properties comprising office, retail, industrial, hotel, multi-housing, student housing, self-storage, senior living, independent living, assisted living, nursing homes, condominiums and condominium conversions, mixed-use properties, and land.

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