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Maxim expects Manhattan Bridge Capital dividend to keep increasing

Maxim Group analyst Michael Diana has initiated coverage of Manhattan Bridge Capital Inc. at "buy," expecting the company's dividend to continue increasing because of steady loan portfolio growth, continued excellent credit quality and operating leverage.

Diana noted the company's detailed and conservative underwriting, intimate knowledge of the real estate markets, flexibility in customizing loan features, as well as its quick responses to prospective borrowers and "very fast" funding of loans. He wrote that the company's "rapid" response time is the company's main competitive edge versus banks.

He also said the company has "excellent" credit quality, writing that it has never had to foreclose on a property and has never had a loan default. He attributed the company's "unblemished" credit quality record to CEO Assaf Ran's risk aversion, hands-on management style and 31% ownership of the company.

His price target for the company is $7.50. His EPS estimates are 43 cents for 2017 and 52 cents for 2018.