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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Fifth Street Finance Corp.undefined  are down 14.96% to $7.22 today after the specialty finance company reported first fiscal quarter earnings that missed analysts' estimates.

Net investment income for the quarter was $35.2 million, or 23 cents per share. Analysts expected 26 cents, according to Reuters. Total investment income for the quarter was $76.3 million, up from $71.3 million a year ago, but slightly below Reuters estimates of $76.73 million.

The Greenwich, CT-based company that lends to and invests in small and mid-sized companies, also said it would lower its monthly dividend to $0.06 per share from $0.0917 per share beginning in March through August, in order to provide "more flexibility" around capital deployments and "greater consistency" around future distributions.

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Additionally, the company said that it adopted a dividend reinvestment plan, which reinvests dividends automatically, unless a stockholder elects to receive cash.

The stock has been trading with heavy volume, with about 5.46 million shares changing hands by 11:07 a.m. in New York, compared to the average of 1.17 million shares.

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