Zacks Investment Research Upgrades Ares Capital (ARCC) to “Hold”

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Ares Capital (NASDAQ:ARCC) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report released on Monday, January 8th.

According to Zacks, “ARES CAPITAL CORPORATION is a specialty finance company that is a closed-end, non-diversified management investment company. Ares Capital Corporation has elected to be regulated as a business development company under the Investment Company Act of 1940. Its investment objective is to generate both current income and capital appreciation through debt and equity investments. Ares Capital Corporation invests primarily in first and second lien senior loans and mezzanine debt, which in some cases includes an equity component, and, to a lesser extent, in equity investments in private U.S. middle market companies. “

A number of other research analysts have also recently weighed in on ARCC. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods set a $19.00 price objective on Ares Capital and gave the stock a buy rating in a research report on Friday, October 6th. Jefferies Group reiterated a buy rating and set a $19.50 price objective on shares of Ares Capital in a research report on Friday, November 3rd. Citigroup started coverage on Ares Capital in a research report on Wednesday, September 20th. They set an outperform rating and a $18.00 price objective for the company. TheStreet lowered Ares Capital from a b rating to a c+ rating in a research note on Monday, November 13th. Finally, National Securities reissued a buy rating and issued a $19.00 price target on shares of Ares Capital in a research note on Friday, November 3rd. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have assigned a hold rating and eight have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. Ares Capital currently has a consensus rating of Buy and an average target price of $18.00.

Shares of Ares Capital (ARCC) traded down $0.02 during midday trading on Monday, hitting $16.01. The company had a trading volume of 2,070,500 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,833,290. The company has a current ratio of 1.29, a quick ratio of 1.29 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.66. Ares Capital has a 52-week low of $15.60 and a 52-week high of $17.87. The firm has a market capitalization of $6,820.00, a P/E ratio of 12.71, a PEG ratio of 3.41 and a beta of 0.63.

Ares Capital (NASDAQ:ARCC) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, November 2nd. The investment management company reported $0.36 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.35 by $0.01. The firm had revenue of $294.00 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $295.02 million. Ares Capital had a return on equity of 8.60% and a net margin of 45.78%. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business posted $0.43 earnings per share. research analysts expect that Ares Capital will post 1.38 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, December 29th. Investors of record on Friday, December 15th were issued a dividend of $0.38 per share. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, December 14th. This represents a $1.52 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 9.49%. Ares Capital’s payout ratio is currently 120.63%.

In related news, Director Michael J. Arougheti bought 8,365 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, November 3rd. The shares were acquired at an average cost of $15.85 per share, for a total transaction of $132,585.25. Following the acquisition, the director now owns 937,054 shares in the company, valued at approximately $14,852,305.90. The purchase was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Over the last quarter, insiders have purchased 8,965 shares of company stock worth $142,315. Company insiders own 0.45% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. IHT Wealth Management LLC increased its holdings in shares of Ares Capital by 33.5% in the 2nd quarter. IHT Wealth Management LLC now owns 4,568 shares of the investment management company’s stock valued at $196,000 after acquiring an additional 1,147 shares during the last quarter. Legacy Advisors LLC acquired a new position in Ares Capital during the 3rd quarter valued at approximately $128,000. Joel Isaacson & Co. LLC acquired a new position in Ares Capital during the 3rd quarter valued at approximately $164,000. Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Holdings Inc. acquired a new position in Ares Capital during the 3rd quarter valued at approximately $167,000. Finally, Harvest Capital Management Inc acquired a new position in Ares Capital during the 4th quarter valued at approximately $162,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 43.63% of the company’s stock.

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About Ares Capital

Ares Capital Corporation is a specialty finance company. The Company operates as a closed-end, non-diversified management investment company. The Company’s investment objective is to generate both current income and capital appreciation through debt and equity investments. It invests primarily in the United States middle-market companies.

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