American Financial Group, Inc. (NYSE:AFG) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a note issued to investors on Tuesday. The firm presently has a $114.00 price objective on the insurance provider’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price objective indicates a potential upside of 11.89% from the company’s previous close.

According to Zacks, “Shares of American Financial have outperformed the industry year to date. The company is well poised to benefit from impressive inorganic growth and restructuring initiatives. Better industry fundamentals, with strong pricing and a higher renewal ratio, should drive overall growth. Consistent price increase in property and casualty business, combined ratio that compares favorably with industry average, a strong balance sheet, low leverage cost, and disciplined capital management are positives. Based on strong operational performance, it raised core net operating earnings of $6.40–$6.90 per share in 2017. However, American Financial’s exposure to cat loss is a risk to underwriting results. A still soft interest rate environment is expected to weigh on desired upside in investment results.”

Separately, BidaskClub lowered American Financial Group from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, July 13th.

American Financial Group (NYSE:AFG) opened at 101.89 on Tuesday. The company’s 50-day moving average is $102.09 and its 200 day moving average is $97.98. The firm has a market cap of $8.97 billion, a P/E ratio of 11.48 and a beta of 0.83. American Financial Group has a 12 month low of $73.38 and a 12 month high of $105.58.

American Financial Group (NYSE:AFG) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, August 1st. The insurance provider reported $1.61 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.30 by $0.31. American Financial Group had a return on equity of 11.66% and a net margin of 11.89%. The business had revenue of $1.07 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.12 billion. During the same period last year, the company earned $1.28 EPS. American Financial Group’s revenue for the quarter was up 3.7% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities research analysts expect that American Financial Group will post $6.80 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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In related news, Director Terry S. Jacobs sold 1,059 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, June 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $99.21, for a total transaction of $105,063.39. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 3,359 shares in the company, valued at approximately $333,246.39. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, insider Michelle A. Gillis sold 2,051 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, August 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $104.88, for a total value of $215,108.88. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 17,939 shares in the company, valued at $1,881,442.32. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders have sold 315,991 shares of company stock worth $31,791,868. 13.70% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

A number of institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Burney Co. raised its position in American Financial Group by 0.5% in the second quarter. Burney Co. now owns 5,174 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $515,000 after buying an additional 25 shares during the last quarter. Mackenzie Financial Corp boosted its stake in American Financial Group by 0.5% in the first quarter. Mackenzie Financial Corp now owns 6,452 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $616,000 after buying an additional 30 shares during the period. Oppenheimer & Co. Inc. boosted its stake in American Financial Group by 1.3% in the second quarter. Oppenheimer & Co. Inc. now owns 2,425 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $241,000 after buying an additional 30 shares during the period. State of Alaska Department of Revenue boosted its stake in American Financial Group by 0.7% in the second quarter. State of Alaska Department of Revenue now owns 6,190 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $615,000 after buying an additional 40 shares during the period. Finally, Public Employees Retirement Association of Colorado boosted its stake in American Financial Group by 1.9% in the second quarter. Public Employees Retirement Association of Colorado now owns 2,210 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $220,000 after buying an additional 42 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 62.86% of the company’s stock.

American Financial Group Company Profile

American Financial Group, Inc (AFG) is a holding company engaged primarily in property and casualty insurance businesses. The Company, through Great American Insurance Group, focuses on commercial products for businesses, and is engaged in the sale of fixed and fixed-indexed annuities in the retail, financial institutions and education markets.

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