AmTrust Financial Services, Inc. (NASDAQ:AFSI) was the target of a significant decrease in short interest in July. As of July 14th, there was short interest totalling 17,838,378 shares, a decrease of 8.9% from the June 30th total of 19,588,315 shares. Based on an average trading volume of 2,002,356 shares, the short-interest ratio is presently 8.9 days. Currently, 21.3% of the shares of the company are short sold.

Shares of AmTrust Financial Services (NASDAQ:AFSI) opened at 15.82 on Friday. The company has a market cap of $2.71 billion, a PE ratio of 9.08 and a beta of 1.15. AmTrust Financial Services has a 52-week low of $11.80 and a 52-week high of $28.48. The company’s 50-day moving average is $14.78 and its 200 day moving average is $18.79.

AmTrust Financial Services (NASDAQ:AFSI) last posted its earnings results on Monday, May 8th. The insurance provider reported $0.32 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.64 by $0.32. The company had revenue of $1.26 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.35 billion. AmTrust Financial Services had a net margin of 7.55% and a return on equity of 17.24%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was down 1.2% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $0.77 EPS. On average, analysts anticipate that AmTrust Financial Services will post $1.59 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, July 17th. Shareholders of record on Monday, July 3rd were issued a dividend of $0.17 per share. This represents a $0.68 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 4.30%. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, June 29th. AmTrust Financial Services’s payout ratio is presently 32.69%.

In related news, SVP Stephen Ungar sold 5,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, June 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $13.92, for a total value of $69,600.00. Following the transaction, the senior vice president now directly owns 175,256 shares in the company, valued at $2,439,563.52. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Corporate insiders own 42.80% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of AFSI. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its position in AmTrust Financial Services by 33.6% in the first quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 8,667,061 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $159,994,000 after buying an additional 2,181,846 shares during the last quarter. Edge Asset Management Inc. raised its position in AmTrust Financial Services by 24.9% in the first quarter. Edge Asset Management Inc. now owns 5,082,376 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $93,819,000 after buying an additional 1,013,216 shares during the last quarter. Norges Bank bought a new position in AmTrust Financial Services during the fourth quarter worth $25,606,000. Los Angeles Capital Management & Equity Research Inc. bought a new position in AmTrust Financial Services during the first quarter worth $15,064,000. Finally, Principal Financial Group Inc. raised its position in AmTrust Financial Services by 50.1% in the first quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 2,298,469 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $42,430,000 after buying an additional 767,278 shares during the last quarter. 45.35% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Several equities research analysts recently weighed in on AFSI shares. FBR & Co reaffirmed an “outperform” rating and set a $29.00 price objective (down previously from $33.00) on shares of AmTrust Financial Services in a research report on Monday, April 3rd. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $16.00 price objective on shares of AmTrust Financial Services in a research report on Tuesday, May 2nd. TheStreet cut shares of AmTrust Financial Services from a “b-” rating to a “c” rating in a research report on Monday, May 1st. Compass Point reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $22.00 price objective (down previously from $26.00) on shares of AmTrust Financial Services in a research report on Tuesday, May 30th. Finally, ValuEngine cut shares of AmTrust Financial Services from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, June 2nd. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have given a hold rating and three have given a buy rating to the company. The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $19.50.

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About AmTrust Financial Services

Amtrust Financial Services, Inc (AmTrust) is an insurance holding company. The Company, through its subsidiaries, provides specialty property and casualty insurance focusing on workers’ compensation and commercial package coverage for small business, specialty risk and extended warranty coverage, and property and casualty coverage for middle market business.

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