AmTrust Financial Services, Inc. (NASDAQ:AFSI) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “strong sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “AmTrust Financial’s leadership position in commercial small business, expansion of other segments and an impressive inorganic growth story poise it well for growth. The company also aims to build an investment portfolio that returns in line with the sector. The slow but improving rate environment also raises optimism. Plus, a strong balance sheet facilitates growth initiatives and effective capital deployment. However, being a property and casualty insurer, the company remains exposed to cat environment, including volatility in underwriting results. Also, a high level of debt increases interest burden and escalates expenses, hurting margin. Shares of AmTrust Financial have underperformed the industry year to date. Moreover, the company did not witness any estimate revisions for its 2017 and 2018 estimates over the last 60 days.”

Several other equities analysts have also issued reports on the company. ValuEngine lowered AmTrust Financial Services from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, September 1st. JMP Securities initiated coverage on AmTrust Financial Services in a research note on Friday, July 7th. They set an “outperform” rating and a $18.00 price target on the stock. BidaskClub upgraded AmTrust Financial Services from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, June 29th. Finally, TheStreet lowered AmTrust Financial Services from a “c” rating to a “d” rating in a research note on Wednesday, July 19th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have assigned a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $19.50.

AmTrust Financial Services (AFSI) traded up 0.15% on Tuesday, reaching $13.74. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 748,952 shares. AmTrust Financial Services has a 52 week low of $11.36 and a 52 week high of $28.48. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $13.02 and its 200-day moving average is $14.55. The firm has a market capitalization of $2.69 billion, a PE ratio of 13.35 and a beta of 1.24.

AmTrust Financial Services (NASDAQ:AFSI) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, August 8th. The insurance provider reported $0.40 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.36 by $0.04. AmTrust Financial Services had a return on equity of 14.26% and a net margin of 5.14%. The firm had revenue of $1.37 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.38 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $0.77 earnings per share. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 8.2% compared to the same quarter last year. Analysts predict that AmTrust Financial Services will post $1.34 EPS for the current year.

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Several hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in AFSI. Russell Investments Group Ltd. grew its stake in shares of AmTrust Financial Services by 44.3% in the 1st quarter. Russell Investments Group Ltd. now owns 102,477 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $1,891,000 after purchasing an additional 31,455 shares during the period. Empire Life Investments Inc. grew its stake in shares of AmTrust Financial Services by 4.6% in the 1st quarter. Empire Life Investments Inc. now owns 16,297 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $300,000 after purchasing an additional 723 shares during the period. Bank of New York Mellon Corp grew its stake in shares of AmTrust Financial Services by 7.6% in the 1st quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 620,497 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $11,455,000 after purchasing an additional 43,615 shares during the period. Swiss National Bank grew its stake in shares of AmTrust Financial Services by 1.6% in the 1st quarter. Swiss National Bank now owns 140,480 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $2,593,000 after purchasing an additional 2,200 shares during the period. Finally, Karp Capital Management Corp bought a new stake in shares of AmTrust Financial Services in the 1st quarter valued at approximately $379,000. Institutional investors own 36.82% of the company’s stock.

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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