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Shares of Hartford Financial Services Group (NYSE:HIG) saw a significant growth in short interest during the month of August. As of August 15th, there was short interest totalling 19,398,868 shares, a growth of 67.2% from the July 31st total of 11,600,514 shares, AmericanBankingNews.com reports. Currently, 4.3% of the company’s stock are short sold. Based on an average daily volume of 3,620,979 shares, the short-interest ratio is presently 5.4 days.

HIG has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. Analysts at Zacks reiterated a “neutral” rating on shares of Hartford Financial Services Group in a research note on Friday, August 1st. They now have a $36.00 price target on the stock. Analysts at RBC Capital raised their price target on shares of Hartford Financial Services Group from $35.00 to $36.00 in a research note on Friday, August 1st. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and five have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $39.43.

Shares of Hartford Financial Services Group (NYSE:HIG) opened at 36.78 on Friday. Hartford Financial Services Group has a 52-week low of $30.38 and a 52-week high of $37.49. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $35.5 and its 200-day moving average is $35.37. The company has a market cap of $16.470 billion and a price-to-earnings ratio of 28.02.

Hartford Financial Services Group (NYSE:HIG) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, July 30th. The company reported $0.31 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.68 by $0.37. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $0.66 earnings per share. Analysts expect that Hartford Financial Services Group will post $3.16 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which is scheduled for Wednesday, October 1st. Investors of record on Tuesday, September 2nd will be given a dividend of $0.18 per share. This represents a $0.72 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.96%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, August 28th. This is an increase from Hartford Financial Services Group’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.15.

Hartford Financial Services Group Inc, formerly The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc, is an insurance and financial services company.

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