Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Jefferies Financial Group (NYSE:JEF) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note issued to investors on Saturday, Zacks.com reports. Zacks Investment Research currently has $19.00 target price on the financial services provider’s stock.

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. “

Several other equities research analysts have also recently issued reports on JEF. Oppenheimer raised their price target on shares of Jefferies Financial Group from $25.00 to $26.00 and gave the stock an outperform rating in a research note on Tuesday, June 30th. TheStreet raised shares of Jefferies Financial Group from a d+ rating to a c- rating in a research note on Friday, July 31st.

NYSE:JEF opened at $17.19 on Friday. Jefferies Financial Group has a twelve month low of $11.20 and a twelve month high of $24.03. The company has a market capitalization of $4.58 billion, a P/E ratio of 13.22 and a beta of 1.44. The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $17.27 and a two-hundred day moving average price of $15.53. The company has a current ratio of 1.52, a quick ratio of 1.52 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.06.

Jefferies Financial Group (NYSE:JEF) last released its quarterly earnings results on Monday, June 29th. The financial services provider reported $0.16 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of ($0.03) by $0.19. Jefferies Financial Group had a net margin of 10.16% and a return on equity of 4.86%. The company had revenue of $1.15 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $844.30 million. During the same period last year, the company earned $0.14 EPS. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 4.2% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities research analysts predict that Jefferies Financial Group will post 0.91 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, August 28th. Investors of record on Monday, August 17th were given a $0.15 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Friday, August 14th. This represents a $0.60 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.49%. Jefferies Financial Group’s dividend payout ratio is presently 45.45%.

In related news, President Brian P. Friedman bought 5,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, July 13th. The shares were acquired at an average cost of $16.27 per share, with a total value of $81,350.00. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. 14.80% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Private Advisor Group LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Jefferies Financial Group in the second quarter worth approximately $30,000. CWM Advisors LLC purchased a new position in Jefferies Financial Group in the first quarter valued at approximately $40,000. Cullen Frost Bankers Inc. raised its holdings in Jefferies Financial Group by 262.8% in the second quarter. Cullen Frost Bankers Inc. now owns 6,128 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $95,000 after buying an additional 4,439 shares during the period. Crewe Advisors LLC purchased a new position in Jefferies Financial Group in the second quarter valued at approximately $117,000. Finally, Macquarie Group Ltd. raised its holdings in Jefferies Financial Group by 391.1% in the second quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. now owns 9,330 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $145,000 after buying an additional 7,430 shares during the period. 70.80% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Jefferies Financial Group Company Profile

Jefferies Financial Group Inc, a financial services company, engages in investment banking and capital markets, asset management, and direct investing businesses in the Americas, Europe, and Asia. the company also offers equities research, sales, and trading services; equity finance services comprising financing, securities lending, and other prime brokerage services; and wealth management services to high net worth individuals, their families and businesses, private equity and venture funds, and small institutions.

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