American Financial Group (NYSE:AFG) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a note issued to investors on Thursday.

According to Zacks, “Shares of American Financial have outperformed the industry year to date. The company also witnessed the Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2017 and 2018 move north over the last 60 days. American Financial 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 the first nine months’ results, it lowered core net operating earnings to a range of $5.90-$6.20 per share in 2017. However, its exposure to cat loss is a risk to underwriting results.”

AFG has been the subject of several other reports. BidaskClub lowered shares of American Financial Group from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Friday, August 25th. Buckingham Research initiated coverage on shares of American Financial Group in a report on Monday, September 11th. They set a “neutral” rating and a $103.00 target price for the company.

American Financial Group (NYSE:AFG) opened at $106.19 on Thursday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.24, a quick ratio of 0.19 and a current ratio of 0.19. The firm has a market cap of $9,300.30, a P/E ratio of 16.65, a PEG ratio of 2.86 and a beta of 0.86. American Financial Group has a 1-year low of $85.57 and a 1-year high of $106.76.

American Financial Group (NYSE:AFG) last posted its earnings results on Tuesday, October 31st. The insurance provider reported $1.06 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.85 by $0.21. The firm had revenue of $1.27 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $979.50 million. American Financial Group had a net margin of 10.22% and a return on equity of 10.90%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 9.3% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $1.51 EPS. sell-side analysts anticipate that American Financial Group will post 6.05 earnings per share for the current year.

In related news, CEO Carl H. Lindner III sold 150,000 shares of American Financial Group stock in a transaction on Thursday, November 30th. The shares were sold at an average price of $104.71, for a total value of $15,706,500.00. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, Director Virginia Drosos sold 1,438 shares of American Financial Group stock in a transaction on Friday, December 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $104.21, for a total transaction of $149,853.98. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 8,034 shares in the company, valued at approximately $837,223.14. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 201,438 shares of company stock worth $21,166,854 in the last three months. 14.90% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Acrospire Investment Management LLC grew its stake in American Financial Group by 153.6% in the 2nd quarter. Acrospire Investment Management LLC now owns 1,321 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $131,000 after acquiring an additional 800 shares during the period. Bessemer Group Inc. acquired a new stake in American Financial Group in the 2nd quarter valued at $155,000. TLP Group LLC acquired a new stake in American Financial Group during the 2nd quarter worth $194,000. Dai Ichi Life Insurance Company Ltd acquired a new stake in American Financial Group during the 3rd quarter worth $201,000. Finally, Strategic Global Advisors LLC acquired a new stake in American Financial Group during the 3rd quarter worth $207,000. 61.40% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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American Financial Group Company Profile

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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