TICC Capital (TICC) Stock Rating Lowered by National Securities

TICC Capital (NASDAQ:TICC) was downgraded by equities research analysts at National Securities from a “neutral” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report issued on Monday. They currently have a $5.00 price objective on the investment management company’s stock. National Securities’ price objective points to a potential downside of 19.09% from the company’s previous close.

The analysts wrote, “• We had previously upgraded TICC shares to NEUTRAL from SELL despite lowering our price target to $5 from $6 subsequent to the 3Q17 earnings release and 10-Q.

• With TICC shares running up significantly since this upgrade, we now feel it is necessary for us to downgrade shares to SELL from NEUTRAL.

• In 1Q17, the quarterly dividend was reduced from $0.29/share to $0.20/share. We expect the quarterly dividend to be reduced to $0.12/share in 1Q18. While we expect core NII to be above this level, we note that the company’s GAAP NII should be modestly above this new level.

• While we model estimated additional taxable income and CLO yields to improve significantly Y/Y for 2018 as we expect renewed loan market volatility and lower reset and refinance costs not eating into core earnings as much, we note that TICC will want to preserve as much NAV as possible as the volatility should materially lower NAV/share despite boosting earnings.

• Our biggest contention with TICC has been, and continues to be, that the company has increasingly put 2nd lien club deals in its portfolio and maintained a heavy CLO equity concentration. The market has demonstrated repeatedly that it discounts BDCs holding CLO equity, while pure play structured credit vehicles get consistent NAV premiums. When NAV declines during the volatility we model, the market will likely sell shares off heavily despite increased cash flow economics.

• While we do not value any BDC or RIC off yield, it would make sense that our $5 target implies a forward yield of 9.6% which is adequate for CLO equity and higher yielding 2nd lien club deals, in our opinion.

• We are making no changes to our core NII/share estimate for 2017 of $0.78 and our 2018 core NII/share estimate of $0.95.”

A number of other research analysts also recently issued reports on the stock. TheStreet upgraded shares of TICC Capital from a “c+” rating to a “b” rating in a research report on Thursday, September 7th. Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services upgraded shares of TICC Capital from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Monday, November 6th. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of TICC Capital from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Wednesday, November 8th. Finally, ValuEngine downgraded shares of TICC Capital from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, November 2nd. Five research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $5.50.

Shares of TICC Capital (NASDAQ:TICC) opened at $6.18 on Monday. TICC Capital has a 1-year low of $5.17 and a 1-year high of $8.19. The company has a current ratio of 19.74, a quick ratio of 19.74 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.41. The firm has a market cap of $319.43, a P/E ratio of 11.09, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.22 and a beta of 0.65.

TICC Capital (NASDAQ:TICC) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, November 2nd. The investment management company reported $0.13 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.16 by ($0.03). The firm had revenue of $14.50 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $15.97 million. TICC Capital had a return on equity of 7.64% and a net margin of 94.98%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was down 19.9% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $0.30 EPS. equities analysts predict that TICC Capital will post 0.57 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In related news, CEO Jonathan H. Cohen bought 25,529 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, November 15th. The shares were bought at an average price of $6.02 per share, for a total transaction of $153,684.58. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, COO Saul B. Rosenthal bought 26,431 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, November 6th. The shares were bought at an average price of $5.85 per share, for a total transaction of $154,621.35. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Insiders bought a total of 141,700 shares of company stock worth $843,621 in the last 90 days. Corporate insiders own 5.90% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Sheaff Brock Investment Advisors LLC lifted its position in shares of TICC Capital by 11.9% during the 2nd quarter. Sheaff Brock Investment Advisors LLC now owns 21,260 shares of the investment management company’s stock valued at $135,000 after acquiring an additional 2,260 shares during the period. Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Co. acquired a new position in shares of TICC Capital during the 2nd quarter valued at $136,000. CIBC World Markets Inc. lifted its position in shares of TICC Capital by 116.9% during the 2nd quarter. CIBC World Markets Inc. now owns 23,698 shares of the investment management company’s stock valued at $150,000 after acquiring an additional 12,771 shares during the period. KCG Holdings Inc. lifted its position in shares of TICC Capital by 66.5% during the 1st quarter. KCG Holdings Inc. now owns 21,486 shares of the investment management company’s stock valued at $159,000 after acquiring an additional 8,578 shares during the period. Finally, Stephens Inc. AR lifted its position in shares of TICC Capital by 15.1% during the 2nd quarter. Stephens Inc. AR now owns 25,381 shares of the investment management company’s stock valued at $161,000 after acquiring an additional 3,321 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 16.17% of the company’s stock.

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TICC Capital Company Profile

TICC Capital Corp. is a closed-end, non-diversified management investment company. The Company’s investment objective is to maximize its portfolio’s total return. The Company primarily focuses on seeking current income by investing primarily in corporate debt securities. The Company’s debt investments may include syndicated loans and bilateral loans.

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