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Ladenburg Thalmann upgrades TPG Specialty Lending on valuation

Ladenburg Thalmann analyst Mickey Schleien has upgraded TPG Specialty Lending Inc. to "buy" from "neutral" after the company reported fourth-quarter 2017 net investment income per share of 45 cents.

Although net investment income per share was in line with consensus expectations, it missed the analyst's 49-cent outlook because of lower-than-forecast acceleration of origination fee amortization, as repayments decelerated with more stable spreads resulting in a 7% decline in investment income, the analyst wrote.

But, Schleien said, there are several positives for the company, including co-investment opportunities, excellent underwriting, low fee structure, portfolio quality and dividend coverage.

However, the company's shares are currently trading at a discount to their three-year price-to-net-asset-value average and dividend yield, Schleien noted.

The Ladenburg Thalmann analyst's price target on the company is $18.75. His full-year 2018 EPS estimate is $1.83.