Axa trimmed its stake in Assured Guaranty Ltd. (NYSE:AGO) by 7.5% during the fourth quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The institutional investor owned 438,800 shares of the financial services provider’s stock after selling 35,465 shares during the period. Axa’s holdings in Assured Guaranty were worth $14,862,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.
Other hedge funds and other institutional investors also recently bought and sold shares of the company. Pinebridge Investments L.P. purchased a new position in shares of Assured Guaranty in the 4th quarter valued at $185,000. Greenleaf Trust purchased a new position in shares of Assured Guaranty in the 4th quarter valued at $205,000. Unison Advisors LLC purchased a new position in shares of Assured Guaranty in the 4th quarter valued at $215,000. State of Alaska Department of Revenue purchased a new position in shares of Assured Guaranty in the 4th quarter valued at $237,000. Finally, Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank grew its position in shares of Assured Guaranty by 42.9% in 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 during the last quarter. 96.61% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
A number of research analysts recently commented on the stock. ValuEngine downgraded shares of Assured Guaranty from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, February 2nd. BTIG Research reaffirmed 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 reaffirmed 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 currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $48.00.
Assured Guaranty (NYSE:AGO) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, February 22nd. The financial services provider reported $0.77 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.71 by $0.06. The firm had revenue of $283.00 million during 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 in the prior year, the business earned $1.05 EPS.
The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, March 21st. Investors of record on Wednesday, March 7th will be paid a dividend of $0.16 per share. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, March 6th. This represents a $0.64 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.80%. This is a boost from Assured Guaranty’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.14. Assured Guaranty’s dividend payout ratio is currently 9.97%.
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Assured Guaranty Company Profile
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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