On May 10, 2013, Zacks Investment Research upgraded Ellington Financial LLC (EFC - Free Report) to a Zacks #1 Rank (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 15.6% 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 interest income as well as lower operating expenses.
Net investment income was $10.6 million, up substantially 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 39.8% sequentially to $7.8 million. The decline was attributable to a reduction in incentive fees and other operating expenses. Interest income nudged up 10.4% to $18.4 million.
Over the last 7 days, 1 out of 2 estimates for 2013 has been revised upward, raising the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 14.8% to $3.44 per share. For 2014, 1 out of 2 estimates moved higher over the same time frame, pulling the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 2.0% to $3.00 per share.
Other Stocks to Consider
Other stocks in the same sector that are also worth considering include Home Loan Servicing Solutions, Ltd. , Nationstar Mortgage Holdings Inc. (NSM - Free Report) and First Pactrust Bancorp, Inc. (BANC - Free Report) . All these carry a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).