XL Group (XL) Upgraded by Zacks Investment Research to “Hold”

XL Group (NYSE:XL) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued to investors on Saturday.

According to Zacks, “XL Group’s fourth-quarter 2017 earnings missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate and also deteriorated year over year due to high level of catastrophe loss. Nonetheless, shares of XL Group have outperformed the industry, since the release of its fourth-quarter results. XL Group holds a premier position in global specialty insurance and reinsurance markets owing to the acquisition of Catlin Group in 2015. It remains focused on its insurance and reinsurance business lines that provide the best return on capital over the pricing cycle, while tapping opportunities in the emerging economies. XL Group also engages in shareholder-friendly moves. However, exposure to catastrophes makes underwriting results volatile. It estimates pretax cat loss of $315 million in the fourth quarter. Negative pricing across business lines and increasing expenses remain headwinds.”

Several other equities analysts also recently commented on the company. Citigroup upped their target price on XL Group from $40.00 to $43.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research report on Friday. Deutsche Bank raised XL Group from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday. Barclays reissued a “buy” rating and set a $42.00 price target on shares of XL Group in a research report on Tuesday, January 9th. Royal Bank of Canada reissued a “buy” rating and set a $46.00 price target on shares of XL Group in a research report on Friday, December 8th. Finally, ValuEngine downgraded XL Group from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Friday, December 1st. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have assigned a hold rating and seven have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $44.67.

XL Group (XL) traded up $0.59 during trading on Friday, hitting $41.86. The stock had a trading volume of 5,170,000 shares, compared to its average volume of 3,890,000. XL Group has a 52 week low of $33.77 and a 52 week high of $47.27. The company has a quick ratio of 0.35, a current ratio of 0.08 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.28. The firm has a market capitalization of $10,560.00, a P/E ratio of -19.38, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.25 and a beta of 0.95.

XL Group (NYSE:XL) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, February 1st. The insurance provider reported $0.45 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.38 by $0.07. XL Group had a negative return on equity of 4.25% and a negative net margin of 4.95%. The company had revenue of $2.91 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.73 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $0.47 earnings per share. sell-side analysts predict that XL Group will post 3.68 EPS for the current year.

In other XL Group news, insider Susan Lee Cross sold 70,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, February 7th. The stock was sold at an average price of $40.21, for a total transaction of $2,814,700.00. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, Director John Kcb Vereker sold 2,697 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, December 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $36.59, for a total value of $98,683.23. Following the sale, the director now owns 66,455 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,431,588.45. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 112,697 shares of company stock worth $4,493,383 in the last three months. 3.02% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. SeaCrest Wealth Management LLC bought a new stake in XL Group during the fourth quarter worth $110,000. Advisor Group Inc. lifted its stake in XL Group by 22.1% during the second quarter. Advisor Group Inc. now owns 4,122 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $180,000 after purchasing an additional 747 shares during the last quarter. NuWave Investment Management LLC bought a new stake in XL Group during the fourth quarter worth $163,000. Synovus Financial Corp bought a new stake in XL Group during the third quarter worth $217,000. Finally, Achmea Investment Management B.V. bought a new stake in XL Group during the third quarter worth $227,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 98.65% of the company’s stock.

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XL Group Company Profile

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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