Jefferies Financial Group Inc (NYSE:JEF) Receives Consensus Recommendation of “Buy” from Analysts

Shares of Jefferies Financial Group Inc (NYSE:JEF) have earned an average broker rating score of 2.00 (Buy) from the two analysts that provide coverage for the stock, Zacks Investment Research reports. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a hold recommendation and one has given a strong buy recommendation to the company.

Analysts have set a 12-month consensus price target of $26.50 for the company and are expecting that the company will post $0.22 earnings per share for the current quarter, according to Zacks. Zacks has also given Jefferies Financial Group an industry rank of 157 out of 255 based on the ratings given to related companies.

A number of equities research analysts have recently issued reports on JEF shares. Zacks Investment Research cut Jefferies Financial Group from a “hold” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research note on Wednesday, January 15th. ValuEngine cut Jefferies Financial Group from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Friday, February 7th.

In other news, Chairman Joseph S. Steinberg sold 522,810 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, November 29th. The stock was sold at an average price of $21.03, for a total transaction of $10,994,694.30. Following the sale, the chairman now owns 2,632,979 shares in the company, valued at approximately $55,371,548.37. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Corporate insiders own 10.00% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of JEF. FMR LLC increased its holdings in shares of Jefferies Financial Group by 1,500.1% during the 1st quarter. FMR LLC now owns 1,240,071 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $23,301,000 after acquiring an additional 1,162,570 shares during the last quarter. Amundi Pioneer Asset Management Inc. grew its holdings in Jefferies Financial Group by 99.6% in the 1st quarter. Amundi Pioneer Asset Management Inc. now owns 296,510 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $5,572,000 after buying an additional 147,950 shares in the last quarter. Strs Ohio grew its holdings in Jefferies Financial Group by 467.5% in the 3rd quarter. Strs Ohio now owns 22,698 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $417,000 after buying an additional 18,698 shares in the last quarter. State of Michigan Retirement System grew its holdings in Jefferies Financial Group by 20.3% in the 3rd quarter. State of Michigan Retirement System now owns 72,946 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $1,342,000 after buying an additional 12,300 shares in the last quarter. Finally, State of New Jersey Common Pension Fund D acquired a new position in Jefferies Financial Group in the 3rd quarter valued at $3,485,000. 74.07% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Shares of Jefferies Financial Group stock traded down $0.66 on Wednesday, reaching $20.99. 2,980,020 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 1,799,232. Jefferies Financial Group has a one year low of $16.84 and a one year high of $24.03. The company has a market capitalization of $6.46 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 6.88 and a beta of 1.53. The company has a current ratio of 1.77, a quick ratio of 1.77 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.03. The company has a 50-day moving average of $22.45 and a 200 day moving average of $20.33.

Jefferies Financial Group (NYSE:JEF) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, January 8th. The financial services provider reported $0.62 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.23 by $0.39. Jefferies Financial Group had a return on equity of 4.26% and a net margin of 23.42%. The company had revenue of $1.11 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.01 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business posted ($0.06) EPS. Analysts predict that Jefferies Financial Group will post 0.98 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, February 28th. Stockholders of record on Friday, February 14th will be paid a dividend of $0.15 per share. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, February 13th. This represents a $0.60 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.86%. This is a boost from Jefferies Financial Group’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.13. Jefferies Financial Group’s dividend payout ratio is currently 45.45%.

About Jefferies Financial Group

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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