American Financial Group, Inc. (NYSE:AFG) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report released on Monday. The firm currently has a $117.00 price objective on the insurance provider’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price objective would indicate a potential upside of 11.80% from the stock’s current price.

According to Zacks, “American Financial’s second-quarter earnings beat estimates. Higher operating earnings in both Specialty Property and Casualty (P&C) Insurance Segment and Annuity Segment drove the upside. Shares of American Financial have outperformed the industry since it posted better-than-expected earnings. It is well poised to benefit from impressive inorganic growth and restructuring initiatives. 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 are positives. Based on strong operational performance, it raised core net operating earnings of $6.40–$6.90 per share in 2017. However, American Financial’s exposure to cat loss is a risk to underwriting results. A still soft interest rate environment is expected to weigh on investment results.”

Separately, BidaskClub downgraded shares of American Financial Group from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Saturday, June 24th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the company. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $93.67.

Shares of American Financial Group (NYSE:AFG) opened at 104.60 on Monday. The firm’s 50-day moving average price is $100.56 and its 200-day moving average price is $96.20. American Financial Group has a 52-week low of $72.14 and a 52-week high of $104.81. The stock has a market cap of $9.17 billion, a P/E ratio of 11.79 and a beta of 0.83.

American Financial Group (NYSE:AFG) last released its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, August 1st. The insurance provider reported $1.61 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.30 by $0.31. American Financial Group had a net margin of 11.89% and a return on equity of 11.75%. The business had revenue of $1.07 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.12 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $1.28 EPS. The business’s revenue was up 3.7% on a year-over-year basis. Equities analysts predict that American Financial Group will post $6.73 EPS for the current year.

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In other American Financial Group news, insider John B. Berding sold 27,999 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, May 10th. The shares were sold at an average price of $97.95, for a total transaction of $2,742,502.05. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 61,143 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $5,988,956.85. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, CEO S Craig Lindner sold 26,475 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, May 9th. The shares were sold at an average price of $99.46, for a total transaction of $2,633,203.50. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 377,266 shares of company stock valued at $37,680,881 in the last three months. Insiders own 13.70% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. BlackRock Inc. boosted its stake in shares of American Financial Group by 10,325.5% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 5,915,732 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $564,476,000 after buying an additional 5,858,989 shares in the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its stake in shares of American Financial Group by 7.1% in the first quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 6,517,519 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $621,902,000 after buying an additional 431,262 shares in the last quarter. Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Holdings Inc. acquired a new stake in shares of American Financial Group during the second quarter valued at about $20,516,000. Wells Fargo & Company MN boosted its stake in shares of American Financial Group by 114.4% in the first quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 290,597 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $27,728,000 after buying an additional 155,085 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Victory Capital Management Inc. boosted its stake in shares of American Financial Group by 5.8% in the first quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 2,098,038 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $200,195,000 after buying an additional 114,826 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 62.33% of the company’s stock.

About American Financial Group

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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