American Financial Group (NYSE: AFG) recently received a number of ratings updates from brokerages and research firms:

  • 10/3/2017 – American Financial Group was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “sell” rating. According to Zacks, “American Financial’s exposure to cat loss is a risk to underwriting results. A still soft interest rate environment is expected to weigh on desired upside in investment results. Nonetheless, the company 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. Consistent price increase in property and casualty business, combined ratio that compares favorably with industry average, 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. Also, shares of American Financial have outperformed the industry year to date. However, while the 2017 estimates moved south over the last 60 days, the 2018 estimates remained constant over the same time frame.”
  • 10/2/2017 – American Financial Group was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating. They now have a $116.00 price target on the stock. According to Zacks, “Shares of American Financial have outperformed the industry year to date. The company 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. Consistent price increase in property and casualty business, combined ratio that compares favorably with industry average, 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, while the 2017 estimates moved south over the last 60 days, the 2018 estimates remained constant over the same time frame. American Financial’s exposure to cat loss is a risk to underwriting results. A still soft interest rate environment is expected to weigh on desired upside in investment results.”
  • 9/26/2017 – American Financial Group was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating. According to Zacks, “Shares of American Financial have outperformed the industry year to date. The company 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. Consistent price increase in property and casualty business, combined ratio that compares favorably with industry average, 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. Estimates for 2017 and 2018 also moved north over the last 60 days.  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 desired upside in investment results.”
  • 9/21/2017 – American Financial Group was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating. They now have a $115.00 price target on the stock. According to Zacks, “Shares of American Financial have outperformed the industry year to date. The company 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. Consistent price increase in property and casualty business, combined ratio that compares favorably with industry average, 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. Estimates for 2017 and 2018 also moved north over the last 60 days.  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 desired upside in investment results.”
  • 9/19/2017 – American Financial Group was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating. According to Zacks, “Shares of American Financial have outperformed the industry year to date. The company 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. Consistent price increase in property and casualty business, combined ratio that compares favorably with industry average, 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. Estimates for 2017 and 2018 also moved north over the last 60 days.  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 desired upside in investment results.”
  • 9/14/2017 – American Financial Group was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating. They now have a $112.00 price target on the stock. According to Zacks, “Shares of American Financial have outperformed the industry year to date. The company 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. Consistent price increase in property and casualty business, combined ratio that compares favorably with industry average, 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. Estimates for 2017 and 2018 also moved north over the last 60 days.  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 desired upside in investment results.”
  • 9/12/2017 – American Financial Group was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating. According to Zacks, “Shares of American Financial have outperformed the industry year to date. The company 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. Consistent price increase in property and casualty business, combined ratio that compares favorably with industry average, 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. Estimates for 2017 and 2018 also moved north over the last 60 days.  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 desired upside in investment results.”
  • 9/11/2017 – American Financial Group is now covered by analysts at Buckingham Research. They set a “neutral” rating and a $103.00 price target on the stock.
  • 9/7/2017 – American Financial Group was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating. They now have a $109.00 price target on the stock. According to Zacks, “Shares of American Financial have outperformed the industry year to date. The company 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. Consistent price increase in property and casualty business, combined ratio that compares favorably with industry average, 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. Estimates for 2017 and 2018 also moved north over the last 60 days.  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 desired upside in investment results.”
  • 9/6/2017 – American Financial Group was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating. According to Zacks, “Shares of American Financial have outperformed the industry year to date. The company 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. Consistent price increase in property and casualty business, combined ratio that compares favorably with industry average, 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. Estimates for 2017 and 2018 also moved north over the last 60 days.  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 desired upside in investment results.”
  • 8/29/2017 – American Financial Group was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating. According to Zacks, “Shares of American Financial have outperformed the industry year to date. The company 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. Consistent price increase in property and casualty business, combined ratio that compares favorably with industry average, 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. Estimates for 2017 and 2018 also moved north over the last 60 days.  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 desired upside in investment results.”
  • 8/25/2017 – American Financial Group was downgraded by analysts at BidaskClub from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating.
  • 8/22/2017 – American Financial Group was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating. They now have a $114.00 price target on the stock. According to Zacks, “Shares of American Financial have outperformed the industry year to date. The company 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. Consistent price increase in property and casualty business, combined ratio that compares favorably with industry average, 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 desired upside in investment results.”
  • 8/21/2017 – American Financial Group was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating. According to Zacks, “Shares of American Financial have outperformed the industry year to date. The company 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. Consistent price increase in property and casualty business, combined ratio that compares favorably with industry average, 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 desired upside in investment results.”
  • 8/7/2017 – American Financial Group was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating. They now have a $117.00 price target on the stock. 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.”

American Financial Group, Inc. (AFG) opened at 105.25 on Wednesday. The company’s 50 day moving average is $101.63 and its 200 day moving average is $99.47. The stock has a market cap of $9.26 billion, a P/E ratio of 11.86 and a beta of 0.84. American Financial Group, Inc. has a 52 week low of $73.38 and a 52 week high of $105.58.

American Financial Group (NYSE:AFG) last released its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, August 1st. The insurance provider reported $1.61 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.30 by $0.31. American Financial Group had a return on equity of 11.66% and a net margin of 11.89%. The business had revenue of $1.07 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.12 billion. During the same quarter last year, the company posted $1.28 EPS. American Financial Group’s revenue for the quarter was up 3.7% on a year-over-year basis. Equities analysts predict that American Financial Group, Inc. will post $6.77 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, October 25th. Shareholders of record on Friday, October 13th will be issued a dividend of $0.35 per share. This represents a $1.40 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.33%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, October 12th. This is an increase from American Financial Group’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.31. American Financial Group’s payout ratio is presently 10.57%.

In other American Financial Group news, CEO S Craig Lindner sold 25,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, August 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $104.27, for a total value of $2,606,750.00. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, insider Michelle A. Gillis sold 2,051 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, August 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $104.88, for a total transaction of $215,108.88. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 17,939 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,881,442.32. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 13.70% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

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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