Teacher Retirement System of Texas raised its position in Assured Guaranty Ltd. (NYSE:AGO) by 309.4% in the 4th quarter, HoldingsChannel.com reports. The firm owned 41,205 shares of the financial services provider’s stock after buying an additional 31,141 shares during the quarter. Teacher Retirement System of Texas’ holdings in Assured Guaranty were worth $1,396,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.
Other large investors have also recently made changes to their positions in the company. Unison Advisors LLC bought a new position in Assured Guaranty in the 4th quarter valued at $215,000. State of Alaska Department of Revenue bought a new position in Assured Guaranty in the 4th quarter valued at $237,000. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank raised its position in shares of Assured Guaranty by 42.9% during the 4th quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank now owns 7,358 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $249,000 after buying an additional 2,208 shares in the last quarter. FineMark National Bank & Trust purchased a new stake in shares of Assured Guaranty during the 3rd quarter valued at $259,000. Finally, Quantbot Technologies LP raised its position in shares of Assured Guaranty by 68,682.4% during the 3rd quarter. Quantbot Technologies LP now owns 11,693 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $441,000 after buying an additional 11,676 shares in the last quarter. 94.22% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
Several research firms have recently weighed in on AGO. ValuEngine cut shares of Assured Guaranty from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, February 2nd. BTIG Research reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $50.00 target price on shares of Assured Guaranty in a research report on Tuesday, February 6th. Finally, Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reiterated an “outperform” rating and issued a $47.00 target price on shares of Assured Guaranty in a research report on Wednesday, December 20th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a hold rating and five have given a buy rating to the company. The company has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $48.00.
Assured Guaranty (NYSE:AGO) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, February 22nd. The financial services provider reported $0.77 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.71 by $0.06. The company had revenue of $283.00 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $273.89 million. Assured Guaranty had a net margin of 41.98% and a return on equity of 9.76%. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $1.05 EPS.
The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, March 21st. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, March 7th will be issued a $0.16 dividend. This represents a $0.64 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.85%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, March 6th. This is a positive change from Assured Guaranty’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.14. Assured Guaranty’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 9.68%.
Assured Guaranty announced that its Board of Directors has initiated a share repurchase program on Thursday, November 2nd that permits the company to repurchase $300.00 million in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization permits the financial services provider to buy shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares repurchase programs are often an indication that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.
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About Assured Guaranty
Assured Guaranty Ltd. is a holding company. The Company, through its subsidiaries, provides credit protection products to the United States and international public finance, including infrastructure, and structured finance markets. It applies its credit underwriting judgment, risk management skills and capital markets experience primarily to offer financial guaranty insurance that protects holders of debt instruments and other monetary obligations from defaults in scheduled payments.
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