Jefferies Financial Group (NYSE:JEF) Cut to Sell at Zacks Investment Research

Jefferies Financial Group (NYSE:JEFGet Rating) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note issued on Thursday, Zacks.com reports.

According to Zacks, “Jefferies Financial Group Inc. is a diversified financial services company. It engaged in investment banking and capital markets, merchant banking and an alternative asset management platform. The company’s financial service businesses are Berkadia which provide commercial mortgage banking, investment sales and servicing; Leucadia Asset Management provide asset management; HomeFed provide a publicly traded real estate company, FXCM provides online foreign exchange trading services and Foursight Capital provide vehicle finance. Jefferies Financial Group Inc. formerly known as Leucadia National Corporation is based in New York, United States. “

Other equities analysts have also recently issued research reports about the stock. StockNews.com initiated coverage on shares of Jefferies Financial Group in a report on Thursday, March 31st. They issued a “hold” rating on the stock. Morgan Stanley cut their target price on shares of Jefferies Financial Group from $40.00 to $35.00 and set an “equal weight” rating on the stock in a report on Tuesday, March 8th. Finally, Oppenheimer cut their price target on Jefferies Financial Group from $50.00 to $47.00 and set an “outperform” rating on the stock in a report on Tuesday. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have assigned a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the stock. According to data from MarketBeat.com, Jefferies Financial Group presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $42.00.

NYSE:JEF traded down $1.45 during mid-day trading on Thursday, reaching $30.10. The stock had a trading volume of 1,025,205 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,743,241. The company has a market capitalization of $7.21 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 5.76 and a beta of 1.34. Jefferies Financial Group has a 1-year low of $28.99 and a 1-year high of $44.47. The stock’s 50 day simple moving average is $31.95 and its two-hundred day simple moving average is $34.89. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.01, a current ratio of 1.87 and a quick ratio of 1.87.

Jefferies Financial Group (NYSE:JEFGet Rating) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Monday, March 28th. The financial services provider reported $1.24 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.92 by $0.32. The business had revenue of $1.73 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.55 billion. Jefferies Financial Group had a return on equity of 14.13% and a net margin of 19.09%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was down 30.4% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the firm earned $2.14 earnings per share. Sell-side analysts anticipate that Jefferies Financial Group will post 3.83 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In other news, Director Thomas W. Jones acquired 10,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Wednesday, March 30th. The shares were purchased at an average cost of $33.48 per share, for a total transaction of $334,800.00. The acquisition was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, Director Kane Michael T. O sold 6,000 shares of Jefferies Financial Group stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, April 19th. The stock was sold at an average price of $33.39, for a total transaction of $200,340.00. Following the transaction, the director now owns 97,138 shares in the company, valued at $3,243,437.82. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 17.90% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the business. Charles Schwab Investment Management Inc. grew its holdings in shares of Jefferies Financial Group by 201.2% during the 1st quarter. Charles Schwab Investment Management Inc. now owns 3,328,739 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $109,350,000 after acquiring an additional 2,223,630 shares in the last quarter. First Trust Advisors LP grew its holdings in shares of Jefferies Financial Group by 44.6% during the 1st quarter. First Trust Advisors LP now owns 7,152,883 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $234,972,000 after acquiring an additional 2,207,065 shares in the last quarter. Norges Bank acquired a new stake in shares of Jefferies Financial Group in the 4th quarter valued at $84,827,000. Alliancebernstein L.P. lifted its stake in shares of Jefferies Financial Group by 91.5% in the 4th quarter. Alliancebernstein L.P. now owns 4,550,667 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $176,566,000 after purchasing an additional 2,174,282 shares during the last quarter. Finally, FMR LLC lifted its stake in shares of Jefferies Financial Group by 1,500.1% in the 1st quarter. FMR LLC now owns 1,240,071 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $23,301,000 after purchasing an additional 1,162,570 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 69.79% of the company’s stock.

About Jefferies Financial Group (Get Rating)

Jefferies Financial Group Inc engages in the investment banking and capital markets, and asset management businesses in the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia. The company operates in Investment Banking and Capital Markets, Asset Management, Merchant Banking, and Corporate segments. It provides investment banking, advisory services with respect to mergers or acquisitions, restructurings or recapitalizations and private capital advisory transactions; equity and debt underwriting; and corporate lending.

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