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On Jun 15, 2013, Zacks Investment Research upgraded Ellington Financial LLC (EFC - Snapshot Report) to a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

Why the Upgrade?

Ellington Financial has been witnessing rising earnings estimates on the back of strong fiscal first-quarter 2013 results. Moreover, shares of this mortgage investment company appreciated 10.6% year to date.

On May 6, 2013, Ellington Financial reported first-quarter net income of $40.3 million compared with $24.8 million in the previous quarter. The sequential improvement was driven by higher net investment income and lower operating expenses.

Net investment income was $10.6 million, which more than doubled from the previous quarter. On a per share basis, net investment income came in at 51 cents per share, substantially higher than 18 cents recorded in the prior quarter. Total expenses reduced 40.0% sequentially to $7.8 million. The decline was attributable to a reduction in incentive fees and other operating expenses.

Over the last 60 days, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2013 jumped 38.2% to $4.05 per share as all estimates moved north for Ellington Financial. For 2014, all the estimates moved higher, pushing the Zacks Consensus Estimate up by 7.8% to $3.17 per share.

Other Stocks to Consider

Besides Ellington Financial, other stocks in the same industry that are worth considering include Home Loan Servicing Solutions, Ltd. (HLSS - Snapshot Report) and Nationstar Mortgage Holdings Inc. (NSM - Snapshot Report) with a Zacks Rank #1, while KKR Financial Holdings LLC carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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