Zacks Investment Research Downgrades AmTrust Financial Services (AFSI) to Hold

AmTrust Financial Services (NASDAQ:AFSI) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued on Monday.

According to Zacks, “AmTrust Financial’s leadership position in commercial small business, expansion of other segments and an impressive inorganic growth story poise it well for growth. The company also aims to build an investment portfolio that returns in line with the sector. The slow but improving rate environment also raises optimism. Plus, a strong balance sheet facilitates growth initiatives and effective capital deployment. The company also witnessed the Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2018 moved 5.2% north over the last 60 days. However, a high level of debt increases interest burden and escalates expenses, thereby hurting margin. Exposure to cat environment induced volatility in underwriting results. Shares of AmTrust Financial have underperformed the industry in a year's time.”

Other equities analysts have also issued reports about the stock. FBR & Co lowered shares of AmTrust Financial Services from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $14.00 target price for the company. in a research note on Tuesday, October 24th. ValuEngine cut shares of AmTrust Financial Services from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, February 2nd. BidaskClub raised shares of AmTrust Financial Services from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, January 3rd. SunTrust Banks reissued a “buy” rating and set a $16.00 price target on shares of AmTrust Financial Services in a research report on Friday, November 10th. Finally, B. Riley reissued a “neutral” rating and set a $12.00 price target on shares of AmTrust Financial Services in a research report on Monday, November 6th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have given a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $14.71.

Shares of AmTrust Financial Services (NASDAQ AFSI) traded up $0.02 during mid-day trading on Monday, hitting $12.75. 543,386 shares of the stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 1,572,938. AmTrust Financial Services has a one year low of $8.80 and a one year high of $27.93. The firm has a market cap of $2,500.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of -39.78 and a beta of 1.28. The company has a quick ratio of 0.53, a current ratio of 0.53 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.46.

In other news, SVP Ariel Gorelik bought 2,962 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, November 15th. The shares were bought at an average cost of $9.33 per share, with a total value of $27,635.46. Following the acquisition, the senior vice president now owns 5,977 shares in the company, valued at $55,765.41. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. 50.80% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the business. Harel Insurance Investments & Financial Services Ltd. acquired a new position in shares of AmTrust Financial Services during the 4th quarter worth approximately $101,000. Unison Advisors LLC acquired a new position in shares of AmTrust Financial Services during the 4th quarter worth approximately $119,000. Commerzbank Aktiengesellschaft FI acquired a new position in shares of AmTrust Financial Services during the 3rd quarter worth approximately $135,000. Sapphire Star Partners LP acquired a new stake in shares of AmTrust Financial Services during the 3rd quarter worth approximately $153,000. Finally, Paragon Capital Management Ltd acquired a new stake in shares of AmTrust Financial Services during the 3rd quarter worth approximately $165,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 33.59% of the company’s stock.

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About AmTrust Financial Services

Amtrust Financial Services, Inc (AmTrust) is an insurance holding company. The Company, through its subsidiaries, provides specialty property and casualty insurance focusing on workers’ compensation and commercial package coverage for small business, specialty risk and extended warranty coverage, and property and casualty coverage for middle market business.

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