AmTrust Financial Services (AFSI) Lifted to “Buy” at Zacks Investment Research

AmTrust Financial Services (NASDAQ:AFSI) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a note issued to investors on Tuesday. The firm currently has a $14.00 price objective on the insurance provider’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s target price would indicate a potential upside of 9.46% from the company’s previous close.

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 research analysts have also recently issued reports about the stock. 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. BidaskClub raised shares of AmTrust Financial Services from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday. ValuEngine cut shares of AmTrust Financial Services from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, February 2nd. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reissued a “hold” rating and set a $10.00 price target on shares of AmTrust Financial Services in a research report on Wednesday, December 6th. Finally, JMP Securities cut shares of AmTrust Financial Services from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating in a research report on Monday, November 13th. Six equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the company. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $15.14.

Shares of AmTrust Financial Services (NASDAQ:AFSI) traded up $0.04 during midday trading on Tuesday, reaching $12.79. 472,692 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 1,536,514. AmTrust Financial Services has a one year low of $8.80 and a one year high of $27.93. The stock has a market cap of $2,495.42, a PE ratio of -79.93 and a beta of 1.30. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.46, a quick ratio of 0.53 and a current ratio of 0.53.

In other news, SVP Ariel Gorelik acquired 2,962 shares of AmTrust Financial Services stock in a transaction on Wednesday, November 15th. The stock was acquired at an average cost of $9.33 per share, for a total transaction of $27,635.46. Following the purchase, the senior vice president now owns 5,977 shares in the company, valued at $55,765.41. The acquisition was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. 50.80% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Legal & General Group Plc grew its stake in shares of AmTrust Financial Services by 34.6% in the third quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 43,000 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $580,000 after acquiring an additional 11,042 shares during the period. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. grew its stake in shares of AmTrust Financial Services by 3.0% in the third quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 829,629 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $11,167,000 after acquiring an additional 23,818 shares during the period. FNY Managed Accounts LLC bought a new stake in shares of AmTrust Financial Services in the third quarter worth approximately $298,000. Victory Capital Management Inc. bought a new stake in shares of AmTrust Financial Services in the third quarter worth approximately $314,000. Finally, State Street Corp grew its stake in shares of AmTrust Financial Services by 54.1% in the second quarter. State Street Corp now owns 3,292,917 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $49,854,000 after acquiring an additional 1,156,431 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 33.59% of the company’s stock.

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AmTrust Financial Services Company Profile

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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