XL Group Ltd. (NYSE:XL) was the target of unusually large options trading activity on Wednesday. Investors purchased 4,349 put options on the stock. This is an increase of approximately 1,321% compared to the average daily volume of 306 put options.

Several research firms have recently weighed in on XL. Citigroup decreased their price target on shares of XL Group from $43.00 to $41.00 and set a “neutral” rating for the company in a research note on Monday, October 2nd. UBS Group reduced their price objective on shares of XL Group from $46.00 to $44.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a research note on Monday, October 2nd. Buckingham Research assumed coverage on shares of XL Group in a report on Monday, September 11th. They issued a “neutral” rating and a $42.00 price target on the stock. B. Riley reissued a “neutral” rating on shares of XL Group in a report on Monday, November 6th. Finally, ValuEngine raised shares of XL Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Monday, October 2nd. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have issued a hold rating and seven have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $44.92.

In other XL Group news, Director John Kcb Vereker sold 2,697 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, December 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $36.59, for a total value of $98,683.23. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 66,455 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,431,588.45. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. 3.02% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. HighTower Advisors LLC grew its stake in XL Group by 4.4% during the 2nd quarter. HighTower Advisors LLC now owns 8,708 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $382,000 after acquiring an additional 370 shares in the last quarter. Stifel Financial Corp grew its stake in XL Group by 2.8% during the 2nd quarter. Stifel Financial Corp now owns 14,878 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $650,000 after acquiring an additional 406 shares in the last quarter. M&T Bank Corp grew its stake in XL Group by 2.2% during the 2nd quarter. M&T Bank Corp now owns 27,311 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $1,195,000 after acquiring an additional 586 shares in the last quarter. Advisor Group Inc. grew its stake in XL Group by 22.1% during the 2nd quarter. Advisor Group Inc. now owns 4,122 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $180,000 after acquiring an additional 747 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Brandywine Global Investment Management LLC grew its stake in XL Group by 0.4% during the 2nd quarter. Brandywine Global Investment Management LLC now owns 238,727 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $10,457,000 after acquiring an additional 906 shares in the last quarter. 98.96% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

XL Group (NYSE XL) opened at $34.65 on Friday. XL Group has a 1 year low of $33.77 and a 1 year high of $47.27. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.28, a quick ratio of 0.35 and a current ratio of 0.35. The firm has a market cap of $8,814.60, a PE ratio of -28.17, a P/E/G ratio of 1.05 and a beta of 1.00.

XL Group (NYSE:XL) last released its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, October 24th. The insurance provider reported ($4.00) earnings per share for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of ($3.91) by ($0.09). XL Group had a negative return on equity of 4.03% and a negative net margin of 2.51%. The company had revenue of $2.33 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.11 billion. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $0.44 EPS. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 9.0% on a year-over-year basis. analysts forecast that XL Group will post -1.96 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, January 2nd. Investors of record on Friday, December 15th were given a dividend of $0.22 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, December 14th. This represents a $0.88 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.54%. XL Group’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently -71.54%.

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About XL Group

XL Group plc is an insurance and reinsurance company providing property, casualty and specialty products to industrial, commercial and professional firms, insurance companies and other enterprises. The Company operates through two segments: Insurance and Reinsurance. The Company’s Insurance segment is organized into four product divisions: Global Casualty (Casualty); Global Energy Property, & Construction (EPC); Global Professional (Professional), and Global Specialty (Specialty).

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