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MFA Financial

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MFA Financial (MFA)

Company Profile: New York City-based MFA Financial is engaged in the business of investing, on a leveraged basis, in residential Agency and Non-Agency ARM-MBS.

MFA Financial raised its quarterly payout by 4.4% to 23.5 cents per share.

The dividend will be paid on Jan. 31, 2011 to stockholders of record on Dec. 31, bringing MFA's yield to around 11.5%.

Credit Suisse analysts recently downgraded shares of MFA Financial to neutral from an outperform rating. The equity research firm set an $8 price target on the stock, and cited its downgrade based on valuation.

MFA's hiked dividend marked thereal estate investment trust's increase of its shareholder payout this fall.

On Oct. 1 MFA Financial raised its dividend by 18.4% to 22.5 cents per share. That dividend was paid on Oct. 29.

>>14 REITs Increasing Dividends Annually

In a research note earlier in December, Sterne Agee analyst Henry Coffey argued that concessions on so called "mortgage putbacks" by Bank of America (BAC) could negatively impact Capital One (COF), which, like Bank of America, has exposure "tied to mortgages originated and sold by units of acquired companies, not originally under its control."

On the other hand, Coffey saw potential positives for Chimera (CIM) and MFA, since the pair may be able to win concessions in disputes over MBS they bought from banks. Coffey cautioned, however, the issue is "still a long way off and hard to quantify."

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