American Financial Group (NYSE:AFG) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report issued on Thursday. The brokerage presently has a $123.00 price target on the insurance provider’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s target price would suggest a potential upside of 11.94% from the company’s previous close.

According to Zacks, “Shares of American Financial have outperformed the industry in a year. The company 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, exposure to cat loss is a risk to underwriting results. American Financial is set to report fourth-quarter results on Jan 31. The Zacks Consensus Estimate is pegged at $1.64, reflecting a year-over-year decline of 17.1%. A Zacks Rank #2 with an Earnings ESP of 0.00% leaves surprise prediction inconclusive.”

Separately, Sandler O’Neill reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $119.00 price objective on shares of American Financial Group in a report on Wednesday, January 10th.

Shares of American Financial Group (AFG) traded up $1.09 during mid-day trading on Thursday, hitting $109.88. 212,100 shares of the stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 277,091. The stock has a market cap of $9,650.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 14.11, a P/E/G ratio of 1.32 and a beta of 0.85. American Financial Group has a 1-year low of $85.57 and a 1-year high of $110.05. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.24, a quick ratio of 0.19 and a current ratio of 0.19.

American Financial Group (NYSE:AFG) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, October 31st. The insurance provider reported $1.06 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.85 by $0.21. The business had revenue of $1.27 billion for 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 company’s revenue was up 9.3% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted $1.51 EPS. equities analysts expect that American Financial Group will post 6.05 earnings per share for the current year.

In related news, Director Virginia Drosos sold 1,438 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred 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 owns 8,034 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $837,223.14. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, CEO Carl H. Lindner III sold 150,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, November 30th. The stock was sold at an average price of $104.71, for a total transaction of $15,706,500.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders have sold 201,438 shares of company stock valued at $21,166,854. Corporate insiders own 14.90% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Dai Ichi Life Insurance Company Ltd acquired a new stake in American Financial Group during the 3rd quarter worth approximately $201,000. TLP Group LLC acquired a new stake in American Financial Group during the 2nd quarter worth approximately $194,000. Strategic Global Advisors LLC acquired a new stake in American Financial Group during the 3rd quarter worth approximately $207,000. GSA Capital Partners LLP acquired a new stake in American Financial Group during the 3rd quarter worth approximately $211,000. Finally, Checchi Capital Advisers LLC acquired a new stake in American Financial Group during the 3rd quarter worth approximately $211,000. 61.41% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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About American Financial Group

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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