Arthur J Gallagher & Co (AJG) Downgraded by Zacks Investment Research

Arthur J Gallagher & Co (NYSE:AJG) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report released on Friday.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Arthur J. Gallagher have outperformed the industry in a year's time. The company witnessed positive estimate revisions in the last 30 days. Arthur J. Gallagher’s inorganic story seems impressive with strategic buyouts, the pipeline remaining strong with about $300 million of revenues. The company remains focused on tapping opportunities in the U.K., Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the U.S. The company remains focused on enhancing productivity and quality that is part of its value creation strategy. A solid performance is leading to sufficient cash flows and helps the company deploy capital in shareholder-friendly moves. However, escalating expenses and weak commercial P&C rates pose concerns.”

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A number of other research firms also recently weighed in on AJG. Wells Fargo set a $78.00 price target on Arthur J Gallagher & Co and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, March 14th. Barclays reaffirmed an “overweight” rating and set a $82.00 price target (up from $70.00) on shares of Arthur J Gallagher & Co in a research note on Tuesday, February 20th. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $77.00 price target on shares of Arthur J Gallagher & Co in a research note on Friday, December 22nd. SunTrust Banks reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $75.00 price objective on shares of Arthur J Gallagher & Co in a research note on Friday, January 26th. Finally, William Blair raised Arthur J Gallagher & Co from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating in a research note on Thursday, March 8th. Six analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eight have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. Arthur J Gallagher & Co has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $72.80.

Shares of AJG traded down $0.70 during midday trading on Friday, reaching $67.73. 229,759 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 1,152,916. Arthur J Gallagher & Co has a 12-month low of $54.50 and a 12-month high of $72.77. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.65, a current ratio of 1.05 and a quick ratio of 1.05. The company has a market capitalization of $12,409.54, a PE ratio of 22.16, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.63 and a beta of 1.13.

Arthur J Gallagher & Co (NYSE:AJG) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, January 25th. The financial services provider reported $0.82 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.75 by $0.07. Arthur J Gallagher & Co had a return on equity of 13.95% and a net margin of 7.52%. The company had revenue of $1.60 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.48 billion. During the same period last year, the business earned $0.66 EPS. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 15.5% on a year-over-year basis. equities research analysts expect that Arthur J Gallagher & Co will post 3.59 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In other Arthur J Gallagher & Co news, CFO Douglas K. Howell sold 5,200 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, February 14th. The stock was sold at an average price of $68.17, for a total value of $354,484.00. Following the sale, the chief financial officer now owns 43,000 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,931,310. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, VP Thomas Joseph Gallagher sold 11,500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, January 29th. The shares were sold at an average price of $69.80, for a total value of $802,700.00. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now directly owns 176,305 shares in the company, valued at approximately $12,306,089. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 21,766 shares of company stock worth $1,501,938 over the last three months. 1.60% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. BlackRock Inc. grew its holdings in Arthur J Gallagher & Co by 1.3% in the 4th quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 14,413,622 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $912,092,000 after buying an additional 184,778 shares during the last quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. grew its holdings in Arthur J Gallagher & Co by 7.7% in the 4th quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 4,182,454 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $264,665,000 after buying an additional 297,388 shares during the last quarter. Westwood Holdings Group Inc. grew its holdings in Arthur J Gallagher & Co by 183.4% in the 4th quarter. Westwood Holdings Group Inc. now owns 2,273,464 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $143,865,000 after buying an additional 1,471,258 shares during the last quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC grew its holdings in Arthur J Gallagher & Co by 3.8% in the 4th quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 1,976,703 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $124,823,000 after buying an additional 71,887 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Champlain Investment Partners LLC grew its holdings in Arthur J Gallagher & Co by 0.8% in the 4th quarter. Champlain Investment Partners LLC now owns 1,711,635 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $108,312,000 after buying an additional 14,255 shares during the last quarter. 83.92% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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About Arthur J Gallagher & Co

Arthur J. Gallagher & Co, together with its subsidiaries, provides insurance brokerage, consulting, and third party claims settlement and administration services to entities in the United States and internationally. Its Brokerage segment consists of retail and wholesale insurance brokerage operations.

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