State Auto Financial Corp (STFC) Downgraded by Zacks Investment Research to “Strong Sell”

Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of State Auto Financial Corp (NASDAQ:STFC) from a hold rating to a strong sell rating in a research note issued to investors on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “State Auto Financial Corporation is an insurance holding company, which engages, through its subsidiaries, primarily in the property and casualty insurance business. The company’s principal subsidiary is State Auto Property and Casualty Insurance Company. State Auto P&C is a regional insurer engaged primarily in writing personal and commercial automobile, homeowners, commercial multi-peril, workers’ compensation and fire insurance. “

State Auto Financial Corp (NASDAQ:STFC) traded up 2.24% during trading on Tuesday, hitting $27.39. The company had a trading volume of 22,057 shares. The stock has a 50-day moving average of $27.16 and a 200 day moving average of $25.79. The company has a market capitalization of $1.15 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 54.78 and a beta of 0.96. State Auto Financial Corp has a one year low of $18.69 and a one year high of $27.97.

State Auto Financial Corp (NASDAQ:STFC) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, February 14th. The insurance provider reported $0.46 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.33 by $0.13. State Auto Financial Corp had a negative return on equity of 2.44% and a negative net margin of 0.61%. The company earned $364.90 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $341.85 million. The firm’s revenue was up 5.3% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities analysts forecast that State Auto Financial Corp will post $0.88 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, March 30th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, March 14th were paid a $0.10 dividend. This represents a $0.40 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.49%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, March 10th. State Auto Financial Corp’s payout ratio is -190.48%.

In other news, insider Kim Burton Garland purchased 3,699 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, March 3rd. The stock was bought at an average cost of $27.19 per share, for a total transaction of $100,575.81. The purchase was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. 1.56% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Nationwide Fund Advisors boosted its position in shares of State Auto Financial Corp by 3.1% in the first quarter. Nationwide Fund Advisors now owns 14,509 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $398,000 after buying an additional 435 shares during the last quarter. Highbridge Capital Management LLC bought a new position in shares of State Auto Financial Corp during the fourth quarter valued at about $390,000. Norges Bank bought a new position in shares of State Auto Financial Corp during the fourth quarter valued at about $5,765,000. Thrivent Financial for Lutherans bought a new position in shares of State Auto Financial Corp during the fourth quarter valued at about $3,509,000. Finally, Capital Returns Management LLC raised its position in shares of State Auto Financial Corp by 9.8% in the fourth quarter. Capital Returns Management LLC now owns 107,258 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $2,876,000 after buying an additional 9,600 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 31.52% of the company’s stock.

State Auto Financial Corp Company Profile

State Auto Financial Corporation is a property and casualty insurance holding company. The Company is engaged in writing personal, business and specialty insurance. Its segments include Personal Insurance Segment, Commercial Insurance Segment and Specialty Insurance Segment. Its Personal Insurance Segment include personal auto, homeowners and other personal; Commercial Insurance Segment include commercial auto, small commercial package, middle market commercial, workers’ compensation and other commercial, and Specialty Insurance Segment include Excess & Surplus (E&S) property, E&S casualty and programs.

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