State Auto Financial (NASDAQ:STFC) was upgraded by equities research analysts at BidaskClub from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a report issued on Thursday.

Several other equities research analysts have also issued reports on the company. Zacks Investment Research upgraded State Auto Financial from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, November 15th. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reiterated a “hold” rating and set a $26.00 price target on shares of State Auto Financial in a report on Friday, August 18th. Finally, ValuEngine upgraded State Auto Financial from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, August 11th. Five research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. State Auto Financial has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $26.00.

State Auto Financial (NASDAQ STFC) traded down $0.32 during trading hours on Thursday, reaching $28.85. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 50,602 shares, compared to its average volume of 37,742. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.14, a quick ratio of 0.08 and a current ratio of 0.08. State Auto Financial has a 52 week low of $22.11 and a 52 week high of $29.61.

State Auto Financial (NASDAQ:STFC) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, November 2nd. The insurance provider reported ($0.54) earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of ($0.46) by ($0.08). The firm had revenue of $358.40 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $342.70 million. State Auto Financial had a net margin of 1.94% and a negative return on equity of 1.53%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 1.6% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $0.10 earnings per share. equities analysts forecast that State Auto Financial will post -0.32 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In related news, insider John M. Petrucci sold 10,682 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, November 30th. The stock was sold at an average price of $27.84, for a total value of $297,386.88. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, VP Matthew Stanley Mrozek sold 3,380 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, December 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $27.85, for a total value of $94,133.00. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now owns 8,633 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $240,429.05. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 1.54% of the stock is owned by insiders.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of STFC. Deprince Race & Zollo Inc. lifted its holdings in State Auto Financial by 38.1% in the 2nd quarter. Deprince Race & Zollo Inc. now owns 373,787 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $9,618,000 after purchasing an additional 103,164 shares during the last quarter. Alliancebernstein L.P. lifted its holdings in State Auto Financial by 21.9% in the 2nd quarter. Alliancebernstein L.P. now owns 529,239 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $13,617,000 after purchasing an additional 95,076 shares during the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. lifted its holdings in State Auto Financial by 7.9% in the 1st quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 1,183,622 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $32,490,000 after purchasing an additional 86,567 shares during the last quarter. Russell Investments Group Ltd. lifted its holdings in State Auto Financial by 40.2% in the 2nd quarter. Russell Investments Group Ltd. now owns 157,259 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $4,046,000 after purchasing an additional 45,084 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Dimensional Fund Advisors LP lifted its holdings in State Auto Financial by 1.1% in the 2nd quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 2,542,424 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $65,418,000 after purchasing an additional 28,779 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 33.10% of the company’s stock.

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About State Auto Financial

State Auto Financial Corporation is a property and casualty insurance holding company. The Company is engaged in writing personal, business and specialty insurance. Its segments include Personal Insurance Segment, Commercial Insurance Segment and Specialty Insurance Segment. Its Personal Insurance Segment include personal auto, homeowners and other personal; Commercial Insurance Segment include commercial auto, small commercial package, middle market commercial, workers’ compensation and other commercial, and Specialty Insurance Segment include Excess & Surplus (E&S) property, E&S casualty and programs.

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