Hercules Technology Growth Capital Inc. (NYSE:HTGC) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Wednesday.

According to Zacks, “Hercules Capital’s shares have marginally outpaced the Zacks Categorized Small Business Investment Companies & Commercial industry, year to date. The company's loan origination activity continues to be on track, as it remains focused on making commitments to new and existing companies. Further, the company is expected to witness growing demand for customized financing based on the market optimism for public equities and an improving economic environment. Nevertheless, elevated expenses owing to efforts to improve originations are expected to hurt bottom line in the near-term. Also, threat of concentration risk and stricter regulations continue to be the concerns.”

Other equities analysts have also issued reports about the stock. JMP Securities reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of Hercules Technology Growth Capital in a research note on Sunday, November 6th. FBR & Co boosted their price target on shares of Hercules Technology Growth Capital from $13.00 to $15.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a research report on Friday, August 5th. Jefferies Group boosted their price target on shares of Hercules Technology Growth Capital from $14.00 to $15.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, August 5th. Finally, TheStreet raised shares of Hercules Technology Growth Capital from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Monday, November 7th. Four analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and five have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $14.00.

Analyst Recommendations for Hercules Technology Growth Capital (NYSE:HTGC)

Shares of Hercules Technology Growth Capital (NYSE:HTGC) traded down 0.9194% during midday trading on Wednesday, hitting $13.6434. The stock had a trading volume of 111,153 shares. The firm has a market capitalization of $1.05 billion, a PE ratio of 14.6703 and a beta of 0.90. The company’s 50 day moving average price is $13.53 and its 200-day moving average price is $13.10. Hercules Technology Growth Capital has a 1-year low of $9.92 and a 1-year high of $14.00.

Hercules Technology Growth Capital (NYSE:HTGC) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, November 3rd. The company reported $0.32 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.31 by $0.01. The firm earned $45.10 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $44.09 million. Hercules Technology Growth Capital had a net margin of 41.18% and a return on equity of 11.69%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was down 4.3% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the business earned $0.33 EPS. Equities analysts predict that Hercules Technology Growth Capital will post $1.24 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, November 21st. Shareholders of record on Monday, November 14th were issued a $0.31 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, November 9th. This represents a $1.24 annualized dividend and a yield of 9.01%. Hercules Technology Growth Capital’s dividend payout ratio is currently 131.92%.

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A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Legal & General Group Plc boosted its position in Hercules Technology Growth Capital by 30.8% in the first quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 143,464 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,724,000 after buying an additional 33,814 shares in the last quarter. Naples Global Advisors LLC raised its position in shares of Hercules Technology Growth Capital by 3.9% in the second quarter. Naples Global Advisors LLC now owns 65,831 shares of the company’s stock worth $818,000 after buying an additional 2,465 shares during the last quarter. Capital Investment Advisors LLC raised its position in shares of Hercules Technology Growth Capital by 8.1% in the second quarter. Capital Investment Advisors LLC now owns 10,657 shares of the company’s stock worth $132,000 after buying an additional 800 shares during the last quarter. 1st Global Advisors Inc. raised its position in shares of Hercules Technology Growth Capital by 0.7% in the second quarter. 1st Global Advisors Inc. now owns 14,856 shares of the company’s stock worth $185,000 after buying an additional 108 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Gilman Hill Asset Management LLC raised its position in shares of Hercules Technology Growth Capital by 4.4% in the second quarter. Gilman Hill Asset Management LLC now owns 361,344 shares of the company’s stock worth $4,488,000 after buying an additional 15,203 shares during the last quarter. 41.24% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About Hercules Technology Growth Capital

Hercules Capital, Inc, formerly Hercules Technology Growth Capital, Inc, is a specialty finance company. The Company is focused on providing senior secured venture growth loans to venture capital-backed companies in a range of technology, life sciences and sustainable and renewable technology industries.

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