Meta Financial Group Inc. (CASH) Upgraded to “Hold” at Zacks Investment Research

Meta Financial Group Inc. (NASDAQ:CASH) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued on Monday.

According to Zacks, “Meta Financial Group, Inc. is the holding company for federally chartered savings bank MetaBank, Member FDIC. Headquartered in Sioux Falls, S.D., MetaBank operates in both the Banking and Payments industries: MetaBank, its retail banking division; Meta Payment Systems, its electronic payments division; AFS/IBEX, its insurance premium finance division; and Refund Advantage, its tax refund-transfer software division. The synergies among the four provide a unique business model for the company. “

Separately, FBR & Co set a $130.00 target price on Meta Financial Group and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, March 8th.

Shares of Meta Financial Group (NASDAQ:CASH) traded down 2.46% during mid-day trading on Monday, hitting $89.10. The stock had a trading volume of 42,486 shares. The stock has a market capitalization of $832.64 million, a P/E ratio of 25.26 and a beta of 0.98. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $89.17 and a 200-day moving average of $83.86. Meta Financial Group has a 52 week low of $43.25 and a 52 week high of $106.90.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, April 3rd. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, March 7th will be paid a $0.13 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Friday, March 3rd. This represents a $0.52 annualized dividend and a yield of 0.58%. Meta Financial Group’s dividend payout ratio is 14.61%.

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In other Meta Financial Group news, President Bradley C. Hanson sold 12,664 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, January 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $101.05, for a total value of $1,279,697.20. Following the sale, the president now owns 141,058 shares in the company, valued at $14,253,910.90. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, Chairman J Tyler Haahr sold 5,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, January 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $103.60, for a total value of $518,000.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 27,664 shares of company stock worth $2,702,797 in the last 90 days. Corporate insiders own 6.06% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Thrivent Financial for Lutherans acquired a new stake in Meta Financial Group during the fourth quarter valued at about $14,211,000. Opus Capital Group LLC acquired a new stake in Meta Financial Group during the third quarter valued at about $4,888,000. Polar Capital LLP raised its stake in Meta Financial Group by 286.8% in the third quarter. Polar Capital LLP now owns 45,542 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,759,000 after buying an additional 33,769 shares in the last quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP raised its stake in Meta Financial Group by 8.7% in the fourth quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 420,331 shares of the company’s stock valued at $43,252,000 after buying an additional 33,724 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Russell Investments Group Ltd. acquired a new stake in Meta Financial Group during the fourth quarter valued at about $2,700,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 69.59% of the company’s stock.

About Meta Financial Group

Meta Financial Group, Inc is a unitary savings and loan holding company. The Company operates through its banking subsidiary, MetaBank (the Bank). Its segments include Payments, Banking, and Corporate Services/Other. MetaBank is both a community-oriented financial institution offering a range of financial services to meet the needs of the communities it serves and a payments company providing services on a nationwide basis.

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