Zacks Investment Research Upgrades American Capital Agency Corp. (AGNC) to “Buy”

Zacks Investment Research Upgrades American Capital Agency Corp. (AGNC) to “Buy”

American Capital Agency Corp. (NASDAQ:AGNC) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report issued on Friday. The firm currently has a $21.00 target price on the real estate investment trust’s stock. Zacks Investment Research’s price target would suggest a potential upside of 10.24% from the stock’s current price.

According to Zacks, “AGNC Investment is slated to report fourth quarter 2016 results on Feb 1. The shares of the company outperformed the Zacks categorized REIT-Mortgage Trust industry in the past one year. Moreover, its estimates for 2016 and 2017 net spread and dollar roll income per share also moved up over the past 60 days. The company’s efficient cost structure and portfolio repositioning efforts for hedging interest rate uncertainty augur well. Also, adequate financial flexibility and share buybacks are encouraging. Further, the acquisition of its external manager last July has substantially lowered its operating costs. However, volatility in the market and issues regarding global economy are concerns.”

AGNC has been the topic of a number of other reports. Bank of America Corp lowered American Capital Agency Corp. from a “neutral” rating to an “underperform” rating in a research report on Wednesday, December 21st. Credit Suisse Group lowered American Capital Agency Corp. from an “outperform” rating to a “neutral” rating and cut their target price for the company from $21.00 to $19.50 in a research report on Friday, December 2nd. Vetr raised American Capital Agency Corp. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $19.53 target price on the stock in a research report on Thursday, October 6th. Finally, Compass Point lowered American Capital Agency Corp. from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and cut their target price for the company from $20.00 to $19.00 in a research report on Thursday, December 8th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have issued a hold rating and five have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $20.48.

Shares of American Capital Agency Corp. (NASDAQ:AGNC) traded down 0.94% during trading on Friday, hitting $18.87. 674,339 shares of the stock were exchanged. American Capital Agency Corp. has a one year low of $16.43 and a one year high of $20.43. The stock has a market cap of $6.25 billion, a PE ratio of 38.51 and a beta of 0.16. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $18.51 and its 200 day moving average price is $19.22.

American Capital Agency Corp. (NASDAQ:AGNC) last released its quarterly earnings results on Monday, October 24th. The real estate investment trust reported $1.52 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.55 by $0.97. American Capital Agency Corp. had a return on equity of 10.23% and a net margin of 20.87%. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $0.51 EPS. Equities research analysts predict that American Capital Agency Corp. will post $2.32 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a jan 17 dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, February 8th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, January 31st will be paid a $0.18 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Friday, January 27th. American Capital Agency Corp.’s payout ratio is 469.57%.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in AGNC. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its stake in shares of American Capital Agency Corp. by 0.8% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 24,011,417 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $475,907,000 after buying an additional 185,312 shares during the period. BlackRock Fund Advisors raised its stake in shares of American Capital Agency Corp. by 4.9% in the third quarter. BlackRock Fund Advisors now owns 17,267,617 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $337,409,000 after buying an additional 801,080 shares during the period. State Street Corp raised its stake in shares of American Capital Agency Corp. by 0.4% in the second quarter. State Street Corp now owns 10,162,310 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $201,415,000 after buying an additional 43,830 shares during the period. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. raised its stake in shares of American Capital Agency Corp. by 0.8% in the third quarter. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. now owns 9,806,561 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $191,620,000 after buying an additional 74,324 shares during the period. Finally, Artisan Partners Limited Partnership raised its stake in shares of American Capital Agency Corp. by 25.0% in the second quarter. Artisan Partners Limited Partnership now owns 7,823,809 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $155,068,000 after buying an additional 1,564,825 shares during the period. 52.71% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

About American Capital Agency Corp.

AGNC Investment Corp., formerly American Capital Agency Corp., is an internally managed real estate investment trust (REIT). The Company primarily invests on a leveraged basis in agency mortgage-backed securities (agency MBS). The Company’s investments consist of residential mortgage pass-through securities and collateralized mortgage obligations (CMOs) for which the principal and interest payments are guaranteed by a government-sponsored enterprise, such as the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae) and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac), or by the United States Government agency, such as the Government National Mortgage Association (Ginnie Mae) (collectively, GSEs).

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