Matthew Lindenbaum‘s Basswood Capital has stepped up its interest in Astoria Financial Corp (NYSE:AF) according to a recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The fund has increased its holding to 5.95 million shares, or 5.87% of the company’s outstanding stock, from just 1.71 million shares reported as of the end of the third quarter.
The filing also included a letter sent by Mr. Lindenbaum to Astoria Financial Corp (NYSE:AF)’s Board of Directors. In the letter, Basswood Capital’s manager urges Astoria to terminate its merger agreement with New York Community Bancorp, Inc. (NYSE:NYCB) as soon as the terms of the agreement permit, citing major changes in the industry environment. The letter was sent on December 9 and the companies called off their merger on December 21, without commenting on the reason behind this decision. Astoria shares rallied 4.8% following the announcement, but have suffered a small correction after that.
So far this year, Astoria Financial Corp (NYSE:AF) has managed to advance by 14% through Friday’s closing price of $18.55 per share. The company has a market cap of $1.88 billion and pays an annual dividend of $0.16 per share, providing investors with a 0.86% yield. Among the funds followed by Insider Monkey, Jim Simons‘ Renaissance Technologies held the second largest stake in Astoria Financial at the end of the third quarter, after Basswood. According to its 13F filing, the fund reduced its position by 9% to 1.49 million shares valued at $21.8 million. Neil Chriss‘ Hutchin Hill Capital, on the other hand, boosted its stake by 56% over the quarter to 1.29 million shares worth $18.9 million at the end of September.
You can access the original SEC filing by clicking here.
Ownership Summary Table
|Name||Sole Voting Power||Shared Voting Power||Sole Dispositive Power||Shared Dispositive Power||Aggregate Amount Owned Power||Percent of Class|
|Basswood Capital Management||0||5,876,719||0||5,876,719||5,876,719||5.80%|
|Basswood Enhanced Long Short GP||0||2,494,921||0||2,494,921||2,494,921||2.46%|
|Basswood Financial Fund||0||381,173||0||381,173||381,173||0.38%|
|Basswood Financial Fund, Inc||0||95,561||0||95,561||95,561||0.09%|
|Basswood Financial Long Only Fund||0||53,655||0||53,655||53,655||0.05%|
|Basswood Enhanced Long Short Fund||0||2,494,921||0||2,494,921||2,494,921||2.46%|
|Basswood Opportunities Partners||0||1,567,925||0||1,567,925||1,567,925||1.55%|
|Basswood Opportunity Fund, Inc||0||400,431||0||400,431||400,431||0.40%|
|Boulevard Direct Master, Ltd||0||301,038||0||301,038||301,038||0.30%|
|1994 Garden State||0||75,873||0||75,803||75,803||0.07%|
Page 1 of 27 – SEC Filing
Astoria Financial Corporation
Common Stock, Par Value $0.01 per share
December 15, 2016