Zacks Investment Research Lowers Arthur J Gallagher & Co (AJG) to Hold

Arthur J Gallagher & Co (NYSE:AJG) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued to investors on Friday.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Arthur J. Gallagher have outperformed the industry, in a year's time. The company has also seen its 2018 estimates move north in the last 60 days.  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 #3 increases the predictive power of a beat, but combined with the Earnings ESP of -0.45%, makes prediction difficult.”

Several other brokerages have also issued reports on AJG. ValuEngine lowered Arthur J Gallagher & Co from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, December 1st. Royal Bank of Canada reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $64.00 price target on shares of Arthur J Gallagher & Co in a research note on Friday, December 8th. Wells Fargo & Co set a $74.00 price target on Arthur J Gallagher & Co and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, December 8th. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $77.00 price target on shares of Arthur J Gallagher & Co in a research note on Friday, December 22nd. Finally, Credit Suisse Group lifted their price target on Arthur J Gallagher & Co from $68.00 to $69.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a research note on Friday, October 27th. Six equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and six have given a buy rating to the stock. The company has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $68.22.

Shares of Arthur J Gallagher & Co (AJG) traded up $0.26 during mid-day trading on Friday, reaching $64.29. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 1,123,324 shares, compared to its average volume of 856,062. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.66, a quick ratio of 1.08 and a current ratio of 1.08. Arthur J Gallagher & Co has a 52-week low of $52.57 and a 52-week high of $67.32. The company has a market capitalization of $11,580.18, a price-to-earnings ratio of 25.72, a P/E/G ratio of 1.72 and a beta of 1.23.

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

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

Large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Invictus RG purchased a new position in Arthur J Gallagher & Co during the 3rd quarter valued at about $130,000. Eagle Boston Investment Management Inc. purchased a new position in Arthur J Gallagher & Co during the 3rd quarter valued at about $201,000. Doyle Wealth Management purchased a new position in Arthur J Gallagher & Co during the 3rd quarter valued at about $203,000. Coldstream Capital Management Inc. purchased a new position in Arthur J Gallagher & Co during the 2nd quarter valued at about $202,000. Finally, Dai Ichi Life Insurance Company Ltd purchased a new position in Arthur J Gallagher & Co during the 3rd quarter valued at about $218,000. Institutional investors own 82.52% of the company’s stock.

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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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