Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Brown & Brown (NYSE:BRO) from a sell rating to a buy rating in a report issued on Tuesday morning. Zacks Investment Research currently has $28.00 target price on the financial services provider’s stock.
According to Zacks, “Shares of Brown & Brown have outperformed the industry, year to date. Brown & Brown’s compelling portfolio with impressive growth is driven by organic and inorganic initiatives. Plus, solid capital positions the company well for the long term. A solid performance is boosting cash flow, which should help the company deploy capital in shareholder-friendly moves. However, increased financial leverage and exposure to currency exchange rate fluctuations are headwinds. Also, dependence on limited clients for commission revenues raises caution. Escalating expenses are likely to hurt margins. The company did not witness any revision for its 2018 estimate.”
A number of other analysts have also recently commented on the stock. SunTrust Banks upgraded shares of Brown & Brown from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note on Wednesday, December 6th. Wells Fargo reiterated a hold rating and issued a $26.00 price target on shares of Brown & Brown in a research note on Monday, January 22nd. Citigroup set a $24.50 price target on shares of Brown & Brown and gave the company a sell rating in a research note on Friday, February 9th. Royal Bank of Canada reissued a hold rating and issued a $26.50 price objective on shares of Brown & Brown in a research report on Wednesday, January 24th. Finally, Barclays reissued a sell rating and issued a $23.00 price objective (down from $46.00) on shares of Brown & Brown in a research report on Friday, March 30th. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have issued a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. Brown & Brown presently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $24.94.
Brown & Brown (NYSE:BRO) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Monday, January 22nd. The financial services provider reported $0.24 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.21 by $0.03. The firm had revenue of $474.30 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $449.89 million. Brown & Brown had a net margin of 21.24% and a return on equity of 11.19%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 9.4% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the company posted $0.21 earnings per share. equities research analysts predict that Brown & Brown will post 1.24 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
In other news, Chairman Hyatt J. Brown sold 140,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Thursday, March 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $52.85, for a total value of $7,399,000.00. Following the transaction, the chairman now directly owns 27,957 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,477,527.45. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, Chairman Hyatt J. Brown sold 35,561 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, March 13th. The shares were sold at an average price of $53.13, for a total transaction of $1,889,355.93. Following the completion of the transaction, the chairman now directly owns 27,957 shares in the company, valued at $1,485,355.41. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 17.12% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.
Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the company. Simplex Trading LLC bought a new position in Brown & Brown during the fourth quarter worth about $101,000. Cutler Group LP increased its position in Brown & Brown by 212.2% during the fourth quarter. Cutler Group LP now owns 2,482 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $127,000 after acquiring an additional 1,687 shares during the period. Invictus RG bought a new position in Brown & Brown during the third quarter worth about $248,000. Wolverine Trading LLC bought a new position in Brown & Brown during the third quarter worth about $273,000. Finally, Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank increased its position in Brown & Brown by 50.8% during the fourth quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank now owns 6,519 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $335,000 after acquiring an additional 2,197 shares during the period. 72.25% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.
About Brown & Brown
Brown & Brown, Inc markets and sells insurance products in the United States, England, Canada, Bermuda, and the Cayman Islands. Its Retail segment offers property insurance relating to physical damage to property and resultant interruption of business, or extra expense caused by fire, windstorm, or other perils; casualty insurance relating to legal liabilities, professional liability, cyber-liability, workers' compensation, and commercial and private passenger automobile coverages; fidelity and surety bonds; and life, accident, disability, health, hospitalization, medical, dental, and other ancillary insurance products, as well as risk management, loss control surveys and analysis, consultation, and claims processing services.
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