According to Zacks, “Exposure catastrophe loss is a risk to American Financial’s underwriting results as is a soft interest rate environment on investment. Nonetheless, the company is well poised to benefit from impressive inorganic growth deals and restructuring initiatives. An agreement to acquire the leftover shares of National Interstate shows prudence of investing in business that it knows best. Better industry fundamentals, with strong pricing and a higher renewal ratio, should drive overall growth. A strong balance sheet, low leverage cost, and disciplined capital management (raised dividend by 12% in Aug 2016) are positives. Notably, the Zacks Consensus Estimate dipped 0.2% for 2016, but the same inched up 0.3% for 2017, over the last 60 days. However, based on strong results through the first half the company expects earnings of $5.35 – $5.75 per share in 2016.”
A number of other research analysts also recently commented on the company. Sandler O’Neill raised American Financial Group from a hold rating to a buy rating and increased their target price for the stock from $74.00 to $81.00 in a report on Friday, August 12th. Janney Montgomery Scott reissued a buy rating on shares of American Financial Group in a report on Thursday, June 30th.
Shares of American Financial Group (NYSE:AFG) opened at 76.25 on Wednesday. The stock has a market capitalization of $6.63 billion, a P/E ratio of 19.49 and a beta of 0.76. The firm’s 50-day moving average price is $75.09 and its 200-day moving average price is $72.52. American Financial Group has a 52-week low of $64.87 and a 52-week high of $76.93.
American Financial Group (NYSE:AFG) last released its earnings results on Tuesday, August 2nd. The company reported $1.28 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.27 by $0.01. American Financial Group had a return on equity of 9.74% and a net margin of 5.46%. The company had revenue of $1.58 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.06 billion. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $1.28 EPS. American Financial Group’s quarterly revenue was up 4.3% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities analysts forecast that American Financial Group will post $5.70 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, October 25th. Investors of record on Friday, October 14th will be issued a $0.3125 dividend. This is an increase from American Financial Group’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.28. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, October 12th. This represents a $1.25 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.64%. American Financial Group’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 31.89%.
In related news, CEO Carl H. Lindner III sold 100,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, August 4th. The stock was sold at an average price of $71.81, for a total value of $7,181,000.00. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this link. Also, Director James E. Evans sold 15,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, August 30th. The shares were sold at an average price of $75.16, for a total value of $1,127,400.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 148,001 shares in the company, valued at $11,123,755.16. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 14.90% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.
A number of hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. FMR LLC boosted its stake in American Financial Group by 99.7% in the second quarter. FMR LLC now owns 766,325 shares of the company’s stock valued at $56,654,000 after buying an additional 382,600 shares in the last quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. boosted its stake in American Financial Group by 20.3% in the second quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 1,702,481 shares of the company’s stock valued at $125,865,000 after buying an additional 286,987 shares in the last quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC boosted its stake in American Financial Group by 832.5% in the first quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 284,400 shares of the company’s stock valued at $20,013,000 after buying an additional 253,900 shares in the last quarter. Eaton Vance Management boosted its stake in American Financial Group by 24.4% in the second quarter. Eaton Vance Management now owns 1,235,777 shares of the company’s stock valued at $91,361,000 after buying an additional 242,733 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Emerald Acquisition Ltd. acquired a new stake in American Financial Group during the second quarter valued at approximately $14,328,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 59.85% of the company’s stock.
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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