Assured Guaranty (NYSE:AGO) Shares Gap Down Following Weak Earnings

Assured Guaranty Ltd. (NYSE:AGOGet Rating)’s stock price gapped down before the market opened on Thursday following a weaker than expected earnings announcement. The stock had previously closed at $58.86, but opened at $55.23. Assured Guaranty shares last traded at $52.24, with a volume of 6,483 shares traded.

The financial services provider reported $0.46 EPS for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.77 by ($0.31). Assured Guaranty had a return on equity of 7.00% and a net margin of 34.57%.

Assured Guaranty Announces Dividend

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, August 31st. Investors of record on Wednesday, August 17th will be issued a $0.25 dividend. This represents a $1.00 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.94%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, August 16th. Assured Guaranty’s dividend payout ratio is 23.81%.

Analysts Set New Price Targets

Several equities analysts recently issued reports on the company. TheStreet cut Assured Guaranty from a “b” rating to a “c+” rating in a report on Wednesday, July 13th. cut Assured Guaranty from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Friday.

Insider Buying and Selling at Assured Guaranty

In other Assured Guaranty news, CEO Dominic Frederico sold 86,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Monday, June 27th. The stock was sold at an average price of $57.21, for a total value of $4,920,060.00. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 1,278,541 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $73,145,330.61. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Insiders own 3.82% of the company’s stock.

Hedge Funds Weigh In On Assured Guaranty

Hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. CWM LLC lifted its stake in Assured Guaranty by 255.3% in the first quarter. CWM LLC now owns 405 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $26,000 after buying an additional 291 shares during the period. Assetmark Inc. raised its position in shares of Assured Guaranty by 109.8% during the second quarter. Assetmark Inc. now owns 470 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $26,000 after purchasing an additional 246 shares during the period. EverSource Wealth Advisors LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Assured Guaranty during the fourth quarter worth about $29,000. Quantbot Technologies LP acquired a new stake in shares of Assured Guaranty during the first quarter worth about $30,000. Finally, Lazard Asset Management LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Assured Guaranty during the fourth quarter worth about $32,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 95.41% of the company’s stock.

Assured Guaranty Stock Performance

The company has a market cap of $3.31 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 12.30 and a beta of 1.05. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.30, a current ratio of 0.62 and a quick ratio of 0.57. The stock has a 50-day moving average price of $56.29 and a 200 day moving average price of $57.50.

Assured Guaranty Company Profile

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Assured Guaranty Ltd., through its subsidiaries, provides credit protection products to public finance, infrastructure, and structured finance markets in the United States and internationally. The company operates in two segments, Insurance and Asset Management. It offers financial guaranty insurance that protects holders of debt instruments and other monetary obligations from defaults in scheduled payments.

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