Walker & Dunlop, Inc. (WD) Upgraded to Strong-Buy at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Walker & Dunlop, Inc. (NYSE:WD) from a hold rating to a strong-buy rating in a research report released on Saturday morning. They currently have $43.00 price target on the stock.

According to Zacks, “Walker & Dunlop, LLC is engaged in providing commercial real estate financial services in the United States, with a primary focus on multifamily lending. The Company also offers service loans for life insurance companies, commercial banks and other institutional investors as a loan broker. The Multifamily and FHA Finance groups of Walker & Dunlop are focused on lending to property owners, investors, and developers of multifamily properties across the country. The Capital Markets and Investment Services groups provide a broad range of advisory, financing, investment consulting and related services. Walker & Dunlop’s Healthcare Finance group provides debt financing for healthcare properties. The Company’s Principle Investments include origination, underwriting, execution and management of commercial real estate opportunities across property types and geographies within the continental United States. Walker & Dunlop, LLC is based in Bethesda, Maryland. “

Several other research analysts have also recently weighed in on the stock. Wedbush set a $28.00 price target on shares of Walker & Dunlop and gave the company a hold rating in a report on Tuesday, November 22nd. TheStreet raised shares of Walker & Dunlop from a c+ rating to a b- rating in a report on Friday, February 3rd. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, two have given a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of Buy and an average price target of $31.60.

Shares of Walker & Dunlop (NYSE:WD) opened at 37.46 on Friday. The firm has a market capitalization of $1.15 billion, a P/E ratio of 11.82 and a beta of 1.28. Walker & Dunlop has a 12-month low of $19.87 and a 12-month high of $39.00. The firm’s 50-day moving average price is $31.78 and its 200-day moving average price is $28.09.

Walker & Dunlop (NYSE:WD) last issued its earnings results on Wednesday, February 8th. The company reported $1.16 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.74 by $0.42. Walker & Dunlop had a net margin of 19.80% and a return on equity of 20.41%. The business earned $178.40 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $147.66 million. During the same period last year, the business posted $0.67 EPS. Walker & Dunlop’s revenue was up 47.0% on a year-over-year basis. Equities analysts predict that Walker & Dunlop will post $3.62 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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In other news, CEO William M. Walker sold 34,557 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, December 6th. The shares were sold at an average price of $29.94, for a total transaction of $1,034,636.58. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 1,378,975 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $41,286,511.50. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, President Howard W. Smith III sold 19,897 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, November 14th. The stock was sold at an average price of $29.00, for a total transaction of $577,013.00. Following the transaction, the president now directly owns 831,849 shares in the company, valued at $24,123,621. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 11.60% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP boosted its position in shares of Walker & Dunlop by 2.1% in the fourth quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 1,769,880 shares of the company’s stock worth $55,220,000 after buying an additional 37,189 shares during the period. State Street Corp boosted its position in shares of Walker & Dunlop by 10.5% in the fourth quarter. State Street Corp now owns 601,870 shares of the company’s stock worth $18,775,000 after buying an additional 56,950 shares during the period. Comerica Bank boosted its position in shares of Walker & Dunlop by 4.9% in the fourth quarter. Comerica Bank now owns 77,733 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,417,000 after buying an additional 3,648 shares during the period. Russell Investments Group Ltd. purchased a new position in shares of Walker & Dunlop during the fourth quarter worth about $883,000. Finally, Connor Clark & Lunn Investment Management Ltd. boosted its position in shares of Walker & Dunlop by 55.1% in the third quarter. Connor Clark & Lunn Investment Management Ltd. now owns 92,100 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,326,000 after buying an additional 32,700 shares during the period. 73.14% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

Walker & Dunlop Company Profile

Walker & Dunlop, Inc is a holding company, which conducts all of its operations through Walker & Dunlop, LLC. The Company is a provider of commercial real estate financial services in the United States, with a primary focus on multifamily lending. It originates, sells, and services a range of multifamily and other commercial real estate financing products, including Multifamily Finance, Federal Housing Administration (FHA) Finance, Capital Markets, and Proprietary Capital.

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