Zacks: United Fire Group, Inc. (UFCS) Receives Average Recommendation of “Hold” from Analysts

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Shares of United Fire Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:UFCS) have earned an average broker rating score of 3.00 (Hold) from the one brokers that provide coverage for the company, Zacks Investment Research reports. One research analyst has rated the stock with a hold recommendation. United Fire Group’s rating score has declined by 50% in the last three months as a result of a number of analysts’ ratings changes.

Zacks has also given United Fire Group an industry rank of 104 out of 255 based on the ratings given to its competitors.

UFCS has been the topic of several recent analyst reports. ValuEngine cut shares of United Fire Group from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, February 20th. BidaskClub cut shares of United Fire Group from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Thursday, March 14th. Finally, TheStreet cut shares of United Fire Group from a “b” rating to a “c+” rating in a research report on Thursday, February 21st.

In other news, VP Barrie W. Ernst sold 9,580 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, December 31st. The shares were sold at an average price of $55.00, for a total transaction of $526,900.00. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now owns 17,010 shares in the company, valued at approximately $935,550. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, VP David E. Conner sold 1,500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, December 31st. The stock was sold at an average price of $55.00, for a total transaction of $82,500.00. Following the sale, the vice president now owns 10,836 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $595,980. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders have sold 18,871 shares of company stock worth $1,033,174. Insiders own 6.24% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the company. BlackRock Inc. boosted its holdings in United Fire Group by 23.1% in the 4th quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 2,949,540 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $163,553,000 after purchasing an additional 554,131 shares during the period. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP increased its position in shares of United Fire Group by 1.5% in the third quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 2,117,858 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $107,524,000 after acquiring an additional 31,730 shares during the period. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its position in shares of United Fire Group by 2.6% in the third quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 2,085,827 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $105,898,000 after acquiring an additional 52,013 shares during the period. Vanguard Group Inc increased its position in shares of United Fire Group by 2.6% in the third quarter. Vanguard Group Inc now owns 2,085,827 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $105,898,000 after acquiring an additional 52,013 shares during the period. Finally, Earnest Partners LLC increased its position in shares of United Fire Group by 0.8% in the third quarter. Earnest Partners LLC now owns 1,467,354 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $74,498,000 after acquiring an additional 12,302 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 62.86% of the company’s stock.

Shares of UFCS stock traded down $0.71 on Tuesday, reaching $44.67. 597 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 61,865. The stock has a market capitalization of $1.15 billion and a PE ratio of 68.13. United Fire Group has a one year low of $42.65 and a one year high of $61.56.

United Fire Group (NASDAQ:UFCS) last released its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, February 20th. The insurance provider reported ($0.30) earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.23 by ($0.53). The company had revenue of $279.65 million for the quarter. United Fire Group had a return on equity of 1.85% and a net margin of 2.58%.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, March 15th. Shareholders of record on Friday, March 1st were given a dividend of $0.31 per share. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, February 28th. This represents a $1.24 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.78%.

About United Fire Group

United Fire Group, Inc, together with its subsidiaries, provides insurance protection for individuals and businesses in the United States. The company operates through two segments, Property and Casualty Insurance, and Life Insurance. The Property and Casualty Insurance segment offers commercial and personal lines of property and casualty insurance, as well as assumed reinsurance products.

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