American Financial Group Inc. (AFG) Downgraded by Zacks Investment Research to Sell
American Financial Group Inc. (NYSE:AFG) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Wednesday.
According to Zacks, “Exposure catastrophe loss is a risk to American Financial’s underwriting results as is a soft interest rate environment on investment. Nonetheless, the company is well poised to benefit from impressive inorganic growth deals and restructuring initiatives. An agreement to acquire the leftover shares of National Interstate shows prudence of investing in business that it knows best. Better industry fundamentals, with strong pricing and a higher renewal ratio, should drive overall growth. A strong balance sheet, low leverage cost, and disciplined capital management (raised dividend by 12% in Aug 2016) are positives. Notably, the Zacks Consensus Estimate dipped 0.2% for 2016, but the same inched up 0.3% for 2017, over the last 60 days. However, based on strong results through the first half the company expects earnings of $5.35 – $5.75 per share in 2016.”
Other analysts have also issued reports about the company. Janney Montgomery Scott reissued a “buy” rating on shares of American Financial Group in a research note on Thursday, June 30th. Sandler O’Neill raised American Financial Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and lifted their price target for the company from $74.00 to $81.00 in a research note on Friday, August 12th.
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American Financial Group (NYSE:AFG) traded up 1.05% during mid-day trading on Wednesday, reaching $76.40. The company had a trading volume of 156,246 shares. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $74.92 and its 200-day moving average is $72.43. American Financial Group has a one year low of $64.87 and a one year high of $76.93. The firm has a market capitalization of $6.64 billion, a P/E ratio of 19.53 and a beta of 0.76.
American Financial Group (NYSE:AFG) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, August 2nd. The company reported $1.28 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.27 by $0.01. American Financial Group had a return on equity of 9.74% and a net margin of 5.46%. The firm had revenue of $1.58 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.06 billion. During the same period last year, the firm posted $1.28 earnings per share. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 4.3% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities research analysts anticipate that American Financial Group will post $5.70 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, October 25th. Investors of record on Friday, October 14th will be paid a $0.3125 dividend. This is a positive change from American Financial Group’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.28. This represents a $1.25 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.64%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, October 12th. American Financial Group’s payout ratio is currently 28.57%.
In related news, VP Vito C. Peraino sold 2,450 shares of American Financial Group stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, September 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $75.09, for a total value of $183,970.50. Following the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 81,032 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $6,084,692.88. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, Director Terry S. Jacobs sold 400 shares of American Financial Group stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, September 23rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $75.57, for a total value of $30,228.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 2,000 shares in the company, valued at $151,140. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 14.90% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.
Several institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of AFG. Advisor Group Inc. bought a new position in American Financial Group during the second quarter worth approximately $108,000. IFP Advisors Inc increased its stake in shares of American Financial Group by 97.3% in the first quarter. IFP Advisors Inc now owns 2,129 shares of the company’s stock worth $150,000 after buying an additional 1,050 shares during the last quarter. Checchi Capital Advisers LLC increased its stake in shares of American Financial Group by 2.1% in the second quarter. Checchi Capital Advisers LLC now owns 2,028 shares of the company’s stock worth $150,000 after buying an additional 42 shares during the last quarter. Advisor Partners LLC acquired a new stake in shares of American Financial Group during the second quarter worth $212,000. Finally, Commerce Bank acquired a new stake in shares of American Financial Group during the second quarter worth $217,000. 59.90% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.
American Financial Group Company Profile
American Financial Group, Inc (AFG) is a holding company engaged primarily in property and casualty insurance businesses. The Company, through Great American Insurance Group, focuses on commercial products for businesses, and is engaged in the sale of fixed and fixed-indexed annuities in the retail, financial institutions and education markets.
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