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Investment analysts at Sterne Agee assumed coverage on shares of HCI Group (NYSE:HCI) in a note issued to investors on Tuesday, TheFlyOnTheWall.com reports. The firm set a “buy” rating and a $46.00 price target on the stock. Sterne Agee’s price target would suggest a potential upside of 24.16% from the stock’s previous close.

The analysts wrote, “We are initiating coverage on HCI with a Buy rating and a $46 price target. While the competitive environment in Florida is getting more challenging, we believe HCI is well positioned to drive earnings and book value growth through opportunistic acquisitions, select geographic expansion, and gradual deployment of it sizable cash position to buybacks and investments (both fixed income and a growing real estate portfolio). Given the stock weakness YTD, valuation is more attractive, in our view.”

HCI has been the subject of a number of other recent research reports. Analysts at Sidoti upgraded shares of HCI Group from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, March 10th. Separately, analysts at JMP Securities raised their price target on shares of HCI Group from $48.00 to $52.00 in a research note on Wednesday, March 5th. Finally, analysts at JPMorgan Chase & Co. downgraded shares of HCI Group from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating in a research note on Thursday, February 20th. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the company. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $49.93.

HCI Group (NYSE:HCI) traded up 4.70% on Tuesday, hitting $38.792. The stock had a trading volume of 54,016 shares. HCI Group has a 52 week low of $26.07 and a 52 week high of $53.61. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $36.80 and its 200-day moving average is $43.8. The company has a market cap of $432.4 million and a price-to-earnings ratio of 6.58.

HCI Group (NYSE:HCI) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, March 4th. The company reported $1.31 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $1.34 by $0.03. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $1.19 earnings per share. On average, analysts predict that HCI Group will post $4.33 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which is scheduled for Friday, June 20th. Stockholders of record on Friday, May 16th will be given a dividend of $0.275 per share. This represents a $1.10 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.97%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, May 14th.

HCI Group Inc, formerly Homeowners Choice, Inc, is a holding company. The Company, through its subsidiaries, is engaged in the property and casualty insurance business.

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