Western Asset Mortgage Capital Co. (NYSE:WMC) sees sharp decline in short-term interest


Western Asset Mortgage Capital Co. (NYSE: WMCGet a rating) saw a significant decline in interest in short positions in March. As of March 31, there was short interest totaling 699,100 shares, down 31.5% from the March 15 total of 1,020,000 shares. Currently, 1.2% of the company’s shares are sold short. Based on an average daily trading volume of 410,300 shares, the short interest ratio is currently 1.7 days.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently increased or reduced their stakes in the company. Bank of America Corp DE increased its holdings in Western Asset Mortgage Capital by 6.3% during the second quarter. Bank of America Corp DE now owns 93,240 shares of the financial services provider valued at $303,000 after buying an additional 5,545 shares last quarter. Squarepoint Ops LLC increased its holdings in Western Asset Mortgage Capital by 56.9% during the fourth quarter. Squarepoint Ops LLC now owns 19,671 shares of the financial services provider valued at $42,000 after buying an additional 7,137 shares last quarter. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. increased its holdings in Western Asset Mortgage Capital by 45.0% during the fourth quarter. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. now owns 27,173 shares of the financial services provider valued at $57,000 after buying 8,437 additional shares last quarter. Commonwealth Equity Services LLC increased its holdings in Western Asset Mortgage Capital by 44.5% during the third quarter. Commonwealth Equity Services LLC now owns 31,431 shares of the financial services provider valued at $82,000 after buying an additional 9,678 shares last quarter. Finally, Renaissance Technologies LLC acquired a new stake in Western Asset Mortgage Capital during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $32,000. 43.47% of the shares are currently held by institutional investors.

A number of stock analysts have recently commented on WMC shares. Bank of America lowered its price target on Western Asset Mortgage Capital from $3.00 to $2.00 and gave the stock an “underperform” rating in a Wednesday, March 9 research note. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Western Asset Mortgage Capital from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a Wednesday, April 6 research note. To finish, StockNews.com began covering Western Asset Mortgage Capital in a research note on Thursday, March 31. They issued a “holding” rating on the stock.

WMC Stock held steady at $1.55 during Friday’s trading. The company had a trading volume of 167,381 shares, compared to an average volume of 416,413. Western Asset Mortgage Capital has a fifty-two week low of $1.53 and a fifty-two week high of $4.19 . The company’s fifty-day simple moving average is $1.77 and its 200-day simple moving average is $2.12. The company has a quick ratio of 534.84, a current ratio of 534.84 and a debt ratio of 12.72.

Western Asset Mortgage Capital (NYSE: WMCGet a rating) last reported results on Wednesday, March 2. The financial services provider reported earnings per share of $0.01 for the quarter, missing analyst consensus estimates of $0.06 per ($0.05). Western Asset Mortgage Capital posted a positive return on equity of 6.09% and a negative net margin of 29.55%. During the same period last year, the company achieved EPS of $0.12. On average, equity research analysts expect Western Asset Mortgage Capital to post an EPS of 0.25 for the current year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, April 26. Investors of record on Monday, April 4 will receive a dividend of $0.04 per share. This represents a dividend of $0.16 on an annualized basis and a yield of 10.32%. The ex-dividend date is Friday, April 1. Western Asset Mortgage Capital’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently -20.00%.

About Western Asset Mortgage Capital (Get a rating)

Western Asset Mortgage Capital Corporation operates as a real estate investment trust. It invests, acquires and manages a portfolio of assets with a focus on residential real estate related investments, including non-qualified mortgages, residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS) and other related investments.

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Luisa D. Fuller