Short Interest in Walker & Dunlop, Inc. (NYSE:WD) Declines By 25.2%

Walker & Dunlop, Inc. (NYSE:WD) was the recipient of a large decrease in short interest during the month of August. As of August 31st, there was short interest totalling 669,800 shares, a decrease of 25.2% from the August 15th total of 895,900 shares. Based on an average daily volume of 186,500 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is currently 3.6 days. Currently, 2.3% of the shares of the company are short sold.

In other Walker & Dunlop news, Director Dana L. Schmaltz purchased 2,000 shares of Walker & Dunlop stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, September 11th. The stock was purchased at an average price of $52.06 per share, for a total transaction of $104,120.00. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 64,403 shares in the company, valued at $3,352,820.18. The purchase was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, President Howard W. Smith III sold 8,923 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Monday, July 6th. The shares were sold at an average price of $49.62, for a total transaction of $442,759.26. Following the completion of the sale, the president now owns 157,728 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $7,826,463.36. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 9.72% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of WD. First Trust Advisors LP acquired a new stake in Walker & Dunlop in the 1st quarter valued at about $2,111,000. UBS Group AG grew its stake in Walker & Dunlop by 17.6% in the 1st quarter. UBS Group AG now owns 50,168 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $2,020,000 after acquiring an additional 7,521 shares during the last quarter. Comerica Bank grew its stake in Walker & Dunlop by 13.8% in the 1st quarter. Comerica Bank now owns 30,806 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $1,026,000 after acquiring an additional 3,728 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. lifted its holdings in Walker & Dunlop by 7.5% in the 1st quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 4,139,968 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $166,717,000 after purchasing an additional 290,242 shares in the last quarter. Finally, SG Americas Securities LLC lifted its holdings in Walker & Dunlop by 109.0% in the 1st quarter. SG Americas Securities LLC now owns 9,656 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $389,000 after purchasing an additional 5,036 shares in the last quarter. 77.10% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Shares of NYSE:WD traded down $0.96 on Wednesday, reaching $53.06. 201,964 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 260,885. The company has a current ratio of 187.94, a quick ratio of 187.94 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.98. Walker & Dunlop has a 1-year low of $24.55 and a 1-year high of $79.74. The firm has a market cap of $1.65 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 8.60 and a beta of 1.24. The company has a 50-day moving average of $54.78 and a 200-day moving average of $47.36.

Walker & Dunlop (NYSE:WD) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, August 5th. The financial services provider reported $1.95 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.05 by $0.90. Walker & Dunlop had a net margin of 21.64% and a return on equity of 18.98%. The business had revenue of $252.83 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $210.90 million. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $1.33 EPS. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 26.2% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, analysts forecast that Walker & Dunlop will post 5.5 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, September 8th. Stockholders of record on Friday, August 21st were paid a dividend of $0.36 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, August 20th. This represents a $1.44 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.71%. Walker & Dunlop’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 26.42%.

Several equities analysts have issued reports on WD shares. JMP Securities raised shares of Walker & Dunlop from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and set a $60.00 price objective on the stock in a research note on Tuesday, June 9th. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Walker & Dunlop from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $63.00 price objective on the stock in a research note on Saturday, August 8th. Wedbush boosted their price objective on shares of Walker & Dunlop from $66.00 to $70.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research note on Thursday, August 6th. ValuEngine cut shares of Walker & Dunlop from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research note on Friday, August 14th. Finally, TheStreet raised shares of Walker & Dunlop from a “c” rating to a “b-” rating in a research note on Wednesday, July 1st. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have issued a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. Walker & Dunlop has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $61.60.

Walker & Dunlop Company Profile

Walker & Dunlop, Inc, through its subsidiaries, originates, sells, and services a range of multifamily and other commercial real estate loans for owners and developers of real estate in the United States. The company offers multifamily properties and commercial real estate finance products, such as first mortgage, second trust, supplemental, construction, mezzanine, preferred equity, small-balance, and bridge/interim loans.

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