BidaskClub upgraded shares of EMC Insurance Group Inc. (NASDAQ:EMCI) from a strong sell rating to a sell rating in a research note published on Saturday morning.

EMC Insurance Group (EMCI) opened at 27.70 on Friday. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $27.70 and its 200 day moving average price is $27.71. EMC Insurance Group has a 52-week low of $23.44 and a 52-week high of $31.47. The firm has a market capitalization of $591.40 million, a PE ratio of 15.55 and a beta of 0.93.

EMC Insurance Group (NASDAQ:EMCI) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, August 8th. The insurance provider reported $0.16 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.28 by $0.12. EMC Insurance Group had a net margin of 5.87% and a return on equity of 5.66%. The business had revenue of $160.76 million during the quarter. Analysts expect that EMC Insurance Group will post $1.28 earnings per share for the current year.

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The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, September 5th. Investors of record on Tuesday, August 29th will be issued a $0.21 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Friday, August 25th. This represents a $0.84 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.03%. EMC Insurance Group’s dividend payout ratio is currently 46.93%.

In related news, insider Mark E. Reese sold 2,233 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, June 12th. The shares were sold at an average price of $28.66, for a total value of $63,997.78. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 13,983 shares in the company, valued at $400,752.78. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, insider Ronald Allan Paine sold 2,250 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, June 9th. The shares were sold at an average price of $28.60, for a total transaction of $64,350.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 24,823 shares in the company, valued at $709,937.80. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 4.46% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Northern Trust Corp raised its position in shares of EMC Insurance Group by 5.1% in the second quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 408,082 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $11,336,000 after buying an additional 19,830 shares in the last quarter. Kennedy Capital Management Inc. raised its position in shares of EMC Insurance Group by 14.1% in the second quarter. Kennedy Capital Management Inc. now owns 154,592 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $4,295,000 after buying an additional 19,110 shares in the last quarter. State Street Corp raised its position in shares of EMC Insurance Group by 11.3% in the second quarter. State Street Corp now owns 150,958 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $4,193,000 after buying an additional 15,367 shares in the last quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC raised its position in shares of EMC Insurance Group by 5.8% in the first quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 227,372 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $6,380,000 after buying an additional 12,422 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Vanguard Group Inc. raised its position in shares of EMC Insurance Group by 3.0% in the first quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 413,976 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $11,616,000 after buying an additional 12,084 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 28.17% of the company’s stock.

About EMC Insurance Group

EMC Insurance Group Inc is an insurance holding company. The Company operates through two segments: Property and Casualty Insurance and Reinsurance segment. It conducts its property and casualty insurance operations through its subsidiaries, including EMCASCO Insurance Company, Illinois EMCASCO Insurance Company and Dakota Fire Insurance Company, and its reinsurance operations through its subsidiary, EMC Reinsurance Company.

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