First Defiance Financial (FDEF) Rating Increased to Buy at Zacks Investment Research


Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of First Defiance Financial (NASDAQ:FDEF) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report sent to investors on Friday morning. The brokerage currently has $72.00 target price on the savings and loans company’s stock.


According to Zacks, “First Defiance Financial Corp. is a unitary thrift holding company that, through its subsidiaries focuses on traditional banking, mortgage banking, and property and casualty, life and group health insurance products. Their traditional banking activities include originating and servicing residential, commercial, and consumer loans and providing a broad range of depository services. “

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Several other equities research analysts also recently issued reports on the company. BidaskClub downgraded First Defiance Financial from a strong-buy rating to a buy rating in a research report on Wednesday, June 13th. ValuEngine downgraded First Defiance Financial from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report on Saturday, June 2nd. Two analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the stock. First Defiance Financial has an average rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $65.33.


First Defiance Financial stock opened at $67.47 on Friday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.28, a quick ratio of 0.99 and a current ratio of 1.00. The firm has a market cap of $683.81 million, a price-to-earnings ratio of 19.49 and a beta of 0.90. First Defiance Financial has a one year low of $47.01 and a one year high of $68.52.

First Defiance Financial shares are set to split on the morning of Friday, July 13th. The 2-1 split was announced on Friday, June 22nd. The newly minted shares will be distributed to shareholders after the market closes on Thursday, July 12th.


First Defiance Financial (NASDAQ:FDEF) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Monday, April 16th. The savings and loans company reported $1.15 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.99 by $0.16. The company had revenue of $36.39 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $35.35 million. First Defiance Financial had a return on equity of 10.53% and a net margin of 25.37%. sell-side analysts predict that First Defiance Financial will post 4.34 EPS for the current fiscal year.


In related news, insider John R. Reisner sold 750 shares of First Defiance Financial stock in a transaction dated Friday, June 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $62.62, for a total transaction of $46,965.00. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, insider Donald P. Hileman sold 500 shares of First Defiance Financial stock in a transaction dated Monday, April 23rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $61.35, for a total value of $30,675.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders have sold 8,000 shares of company stock worth $483,985. 3.14% of the stock is owned by company insiders.


A number of hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in FDEF. SG Americas Securities LLC acquired a new stake in First Defiance Financial during the fourth quarter worth about $119,000. Handelsbanken Fonder AB acquired a new stake in First Defiance Financial during the fourth quarter worth about $208,000. MetLife Investment Advisors LLC acquired a new stake in First Defiance Financial during the fourth quarter worth about $262,000. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. grew its position in First Defiance Financial by 5.5% during the fourth quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 19,822 shares of the savings and loans company’s stock worth $1,031,000 after buying an additional 1,040 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Russell Investments Group Ltd. grew its position in First Defiance Financial by 10.7% during the first quarter. Russell Investments Group Ltd. now owns 28,837 shares of the savings and loans company’s stock worth $1,653,000 after buying an additional 2,790 shares in the last quarter. 65.08% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.


About First Defiance Financial

First Defiance Financial Corp. operates as a unitary thrift holding company that provides community-based financial services in northwest Ohio, northeast Indiana, and southeastern Michigan. It offers checking accounts, money market accounts, savings accounts, term certificate accounts, and certificates of deposit, as well as Certificate of Deposit Account Registry Service; and consumer finance, 1-4 family residential real estate, commercial real estate, construction, consumer, commercial, and home equity and improvement loans.

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