Arthur J Gallagher & Co (NYSE:AJG) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a note issued to investors on Monday. The brokerage currently has a $71.00 price objective on the financial services provider’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price objective points to a potential upside of 11.15% from the stock’s current price.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Arthur J. Gallagher have outperformed the industry, in a year's time. Arthur J. Gallagher’s inorganic story seems impressive with strategic buyouts, with the company intending to pursue smaller tuck-in mergers in 2017. It remains focused on tapping opportunities in the U.K., Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the U.S. The company remains focused on enhancing productivity and quality that is a part of its value creation strategy. A solid performance is leading to sufficient cash flows help it deploy capital in shareholder-friendly moves. However, escalating expenses and weak commercial P&C rates pose concerns. Adverse foreign exchange also will weigh on results. It is set to release fourth quarter results on Jan 25. A Zacks Rank #2 increases the predictive power of a beat, but combined with the Earnings ESP of -0.45%, makes prediction difficult.”

Several other research firms have also recently issued reports on AJG. Wells Fargo & Co set a $74.00 target price on Arthur J Gallagher & Co and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, December 8th. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reissued a “buy” rating and set a $77.00 target price on shares of Arthur J Gallagher & Co in a research note on Friday, December 22nd. Barclays raised their target price on Arthur J Gallagher & Co from $68.00 to $70.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research note on Monday, October 16th. ValuEngine cut Arthur J Gallagher & Co from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, December 1st. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada reissued a “hold” rating and set a $59.00 target price on shares of Arthur J Gallagher & Co in a research note on Tuesday, October 10th. Five investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and seven have given a buy rating to the company. Arthur J Gallagher & Co has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $68.22.

Arthur J Gallagher & Co (AJG) traded up $0.48 during mid-day trading on Monday, reaching $63.88. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 836,400 shares, compared to its average volume of 846,133. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.66, a quick ratio of 1.08 and a current ratio of 1.08. The firm has a market capitalization of $11,550.00, a PE ratio of 25.55, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.71 and a beta of 1.23. Arthur J Gallagher & Co has a one year low of $52.14 and a one year high of $67.32.

Arthur J Gallagher & Co (NYSE:AJG) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, October 26th. The financial services provider reported $0.81 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.79 by $0.02. The company had revenue of $1.58 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.60 billion. Arthur J Gallagher & Co had a return on equity of 13.56% and a net margin of 7.62%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 6.9% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $0.77 earnings per share. analysts predict that Arthur J Gallagher & Co will post 2.99 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In related news, Director Frank E. Jr. English sold 1,500 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Friday, November 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $63.67, for a total transaction of $95,505.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 10,600 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $674,902. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, VP Scott R. Hudson sold 7,600 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Friday, December 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $65.29, for a total value of $496,204.00. Following the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 25,027 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,634,012.83. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 1.60% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Invictus RG purchased a new stake in Arthur J Gallagher & Co during the 3rd quarter worth about $130,000. Eagle Boston Investment Management Inc. purchased a new stake in Arthur J Gallagher & Co during the 3rd quarter worth about $201,000. Doyle Wealth Management purchased a new stake in Arthur J Gallagher & Co during the 3rd quarter worth about $203,000. Coldstream Capital Management Inc. purchased a new stake in Arthur J Gallagher & Co during the 2nd quarter worth about $202,000. Finally, Dai Ichi Life Insurance Company Ltd purchased a new stake in Arthur J Gallagher & Co during the 3rd quarter worth about $218,000. 82.52% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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Arthur J Gallagher & Co Company Profile

Arthur J. Gallagher & Co and its subsidiaries are engaged in providing insurance brokerage and consulting services, and third-party claims settlement and administration services to both domestic and international entities. The Company operates through three segments: brokerage, risk management and corporate.

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Analyst Recommendations for Arthur J Gallagher & Co (NYSE:AJG)

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