HFF, Inc. (NYSE:HF) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report released on Friday. The brokerage presently has a $49.00 price objective on the financial services provider’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price objective suggests a potential upside of 11.04% from the stock’s previous close.

According to Zacks, “HFF INC., operates out of eighteen offices nationwide and is a leading provider of commercial real estate and capital market services to the U.S. commercial real estate industry. HFF offers clients a fully integrated national capital markets platform including debt placement, investment sales, structured finance, private equity, note sale and note sales advisory services and commercial loan servicing. HFF incorporates capital markets knowledge with local real estate knowledge to successfully complete any type of real estate transaction, regardless of size or complexity. HFF consistently maintains the capital markets relationships critical to successfully accomplish the clients’ specific capital needs in today’s highly complex and rapidly shifting capital markets environment. “

Several other research analysts have also issued reports on the company. BidaskClub lowered HFF from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, July 19th. ValuEngine raised HFF from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, July 6th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have issued a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating to the company. HFF has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $38.50.

Shares of HFF (NYSE HF) traded up $0.32 during trading hours on Friday, hitting $44.13. The stock had a trading volume of 171,780 shares, compared to its average volume of 161,523. The stock has a market cap of $1.69 billion, a P/E ratio of 19.61 and a beta of 1.16.

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In related news, President Joe Thornton, Jr. sold 8,660 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, September 20th. The stock was sold at an average price of $37.88, for a total value of $328,040.80. Following the sale, the president now owns 494,785 shares in the company, valued at approximately $18,742,455.80. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, CEO Mark Gibson sold 37,331 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, September 19th. The stock was sold at an average price of $37.19, for a total value of $1,388,339.89. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 518,956 shares in the company, valued at approximately $19,299,973.64. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 245,064 shares of company stock worth $9,280,216 in the last 90 days. 5.70% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Several institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA grew its stake in shares of HFF by 71.7% in the 3rd quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA now owns 18,937 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $749,000 after buying an additional 7,908 shares during the last quarter. Bessemer Group Inc. purchased a new stake in shares of HFF in the 3rd quarter worth approximately $423,000. Swiss National Bank grew its stake in shares of HFF by 2.9% in the 3rd quarter. Swiss National Bank now owns 61,300 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $2,425,000 after buying an additional 1,700 shares during the last quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. grew its stake in shares of HFF by 2.4% in the 3rd quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 276,348 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $10,932,000 after buying an additional 6,429 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Prudential Financial Inc. grew its stake in shares of HFF by 16.2% in the 3rd quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. now owns 224,425 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $8,879,000 after buying an additional 31,290 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 88.90% of the company’s stock.

HFF Company Profile

HFF, Inc is a holding company. The Company holds the partnership interests in Holliday Fenoglio Fowler, L.P. and HFF Securities L.P. (together, the Operating Partnerships), held through the subsidiary HFF Partnership Holdings, LLC, and all of the outstanding shares of Holliday GP Corp. (Holliday GP).

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