Selective Insurance Group (SIGI) Upgraded at Zacks Investment Research

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Selective Insurance Group (NASDAQ:SIGI) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report issued on Tuesday. The brokerage currently has a $73.00 price objective on the insurance provider’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s target price would suggest a potential upside of 12.46% from the stock’s previous close.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Selective Insurance have outperformed the industry in a year's time. The company is poised for top-line growth riding on high retention ratio, pure renewal price increases and new business growth. Backed by a rising interest rate environment, the company projects after-tax net investment income of $175 million for 2019. Geographic expansion plays a vital role when it comes to growth and diversification. The company also remains committed to adding shareholder value via effective capital deployment. However, exposure to cat loss poses an inherent risk to the P&C business, rendering volatility to the company’s earnings. Rising expenses remain a concern as it might restrict the operating margin expansion.”

Other research analysts also recently issued reports about the company. BidaskClub raised Selective Insurance Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, November 21st. ValuEngine raised Selective Insurance Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, October 29th. Boenning Scattergood reaffirmed a “hold” rating on shares of Selective Insurance Group in a research note on Monday, October 29th. JMP Securities started coverage on Selective Insurance Group in a research note on Friday, November 16th. They set a “market perform” rating for the company. Finally, Buckingham Research started coverage on Selective Insurance Group in a research note on Friday, December 14th. They set a “neutral” rating and a $62.00 target price for the company. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have issued a hold rating and three have given a buy rating to the stock. Selective Insurance Group currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $64.25.

Shares of SIGI stock traded down $0.22 during trading hours on Tuesday, hitting $64.91. 1,477 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 153,243. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.25, a current ratio of 0.31 and a quick ratio of 0.33. The company has a market cap of $3.79 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 17.68, a PEG ratio of 1.21 and a beta of 0.90. Selective Insurance Group has a fifty-two week low of $53.55 and a fifty-two week high of $67.17.

Selective Insurance Group (NASDAQ:SIGI) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, January 31st. The insurance provider reported $1.20 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.94 by $0.26. The business had revenue of $680.90 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $661.70 million. Selective Insurance Group had a return on equity of 12.69% and a net margin of 6.92%. Analysts anticipate that Selective Insurance Group will post 4.2 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In related news, Director Paul D. Bauer sold 2,500 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, November 16th. The stock was sold at an average price of $64.40, for a total value of $161,000.00. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. 2.00% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Vanguard Group Inc lifted its stake in Selective Insurance Group by 1.8% during the 3rd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc now owns 5,848,362 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $371,372,000 after acquiring an additional 105,870 shares in the last quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC grew its stake in Selective Insurance Group by 667.3% during the 3rd quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 40,665 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $2,582,000 after buying an additional 35,365 shares during the last quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. grew its stake in Selective Insurance Group by 28.8% during the 3rd quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. now owns 138,637 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $8,803,000 after buying an additional 30,976 shares during the last quarter. Man Group plc grew its stake in Selective Insurance Group by 913.1% during the 3rd quarter. Man Group plc now owns 76,263 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $4,843,000 after buying an additional 68,735 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Csenge Advisory Group purchased a new position in Selective Insurance Group during the 3rd quarter worth approximately $56,000. 82.63% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About Selective Insurance Group

Selective Insurance Group, Inc, together with its subsidiaries, provides insurance products and services in the United States. It operates in four segments: Standard Commercial Lines, Standard Personal Lines, Excess and Surplus (E&S) Lines, and Investments. The company's products and services include property insurance, which covers the financial consequences of accidental loss of an insured's real and/or personal property; and casualty insurance that covers the financial consequences of employee injuries in the course of employment, and bodily injury and/or property damage to a third party as a result of an insured's negligent acts, omissions, or legal liabilities.

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