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

According to Zacks, “Shares of Arthur J. Gallagher have underperformed the industry year to date. Escalating expenses and weak commercial P&C rates pose concerns. Adverse foreign exchange also will weigh on results. Nonetheless, Arthur J. Gallagher’s inorganic story seems impressive with strategic buyouts. It is pursuing acquisitions in the retail employee benefits brokerage and wholesale brokerage areas and intends to pursue smaller tuck-in mergers in 2017. The company has witnessed positive organic growth for 23 straight quarters. It remains focused on tapping opportunities in the U.K., Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the U.S. Contribution from international operations is expected to increase. The company remains focused on enhancing productivity and quality that is a part of its value creation strategy. A solid performance is leading to sufficient cash flows help it deploy capital in shareholder-friendly moves.”

AJG has been the topic of a number of other research reports. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $62.00 target price on shares of Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. in a research report on Friday, August 18th. Barclays PLC increased their target price on shares of Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. from $66.00 to $68.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a report on Friday, August 11th. Citigroup Inc. increased their target price on shares of Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. from $60.00 to $62.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a report on Monday, August 7th. Royal Bank Of Canada restated a “hold” rating and issued a $54.00 price target on shares of Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. in a research note on Wednesday, July 12th. Finally, BidaskClub upgraded shares of Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Saturday, June 10th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have assigned a hold rating and five have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $62.50.

Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. (AJG) traded down 0.03% during trading on Monday, reaching $61.53. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 353,698 shares. Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. has a 1-year low of $47.16 and a 1-year high of $61.87. The company’s 50 day moving average price is $58.80 and its 200-day moving average price is $57.32. The stock has a market cap of $11.09 billion, a P/E ratio of 24.81 and a beta of 1.21.

Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. (NYSE:AJG) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, July 27th. The financial services provider reported $1.03 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.02 by $0.01. Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. had a return on equity of 13.68% and a net margin of 7.62%. The firm had revenue of $1.56 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.54 billion. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $0.96 EPS. The company’s revenue was up 9.6% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities analysts forecast that Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. will post $3.02 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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In related news, CFO Douglas K. Howell sold 9,967 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, September 14th. The stock was sold at an average price of $59.98, for a total transaction of $597,820.66. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief financial officer now directly owns 47,767 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,865,064.66. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, insider Susan E. Pietrucha sold 3,601 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, August 31st. The stock was sold at an average price of $57.78, for a total value of $208,065.78. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 4,055 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $234,297.90. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders sold 30,500 shares of company stock valued at $1,804,115. 1.60% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in AJG. Pacer Advisors Inc. increased its stake in shares of Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. by 3.2% in the first quarter. Pacer Advisors Inc. now owns 3,176 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $180,000 after buying an additional 99 shares during the period. Coldstream Capital Management Inc. bought a new position in shares of Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. during the second quarter worth about $202,000. Koch Industries Inc. bought a new position in shares of Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. during the first quarter worth about $210,000. Cambridge Investment Research Advisors Inc. acquired a new position in shares of Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. in the first quarter worth approximately $215,000. Finally, Blair William & Co. IL acquired a new position in shares of Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. in the second quarter worth approximately $224,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 81.29% of the company’s stock.

Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. Company Profile

Arthur J. Gallagher & Co and its subsidiaries are engaged in providing insurance brokerage and consulting services, and third-party claims settlement and administration services to both domestic and international entities. The Company operates through three segments: brokerage, risk management and corporate.

Analyst Recommendations for Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. (NYSE:AJG)

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