National General Holdings Corp (NASDAQ:NGHC) was the target of a significant growth in short interest in the month of August. As of August 31st, there was short interest totalling 751,300 shares, a growth of 12.7% from the July 31st total of 666,600 shares. Based on an average daily trading volume, of 251,100 shares, the short-interest ratio is presently 3.0 days. Approximately 1.1% of the company’s shares are short sold.

In related news, CFO Michael Hal Weiner sold 5,110 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, July 26th. The shares were sold at an average price of $23.00, for a total value of $117,530.00. Following the transaction, the chief financial officer now directly owns 49,560 shares in the company, valued at $1,139,880. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Insiders sold 15,846 shares of company stock worth $373,503 over the last 90 days. 3.38% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Several hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the company. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its position in shares of National General by 3.7% during the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 5,993,589 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $137,493,000 after acquiring an additional 213,714 shares in the last quarter. Park West Asset Management LLC grew its position in National General by 2.7% in the second quarter. Park West Asset Management LLC now owns 5,248,841 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $120,408,000 after purchasing an additional 138,130 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. grew its position in National General by 7.5% in the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 4,772,804 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $109,490,000 after purchasing an additional 332,838 shares in the last quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN grew its position in National General by 0.6% in the first quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 3,157,789 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $74,933,000 after purchasing an additional 17,725 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Dimensional Fund Advisors LP grew its position in National General by 1.5% in the fourth quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 2,821,475 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $68,307,000 after purchasing an additional 41,234 shares in the last quarter. 52.11% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

Several brokerages have commented on NGHC. B. Riley upped their target price on shares of National General from $33.00 to $36.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, May 31st. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of National General from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $25.00 target price for the company in a research note on Saturday, July 27th. BidaskClub raised shares of National General from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday. Compass Point set a $36.00 target price on shares of National General and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday, June 24th. Finally, ValuEngine downgraded shares of National General from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Thursday, June 27th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have issued a hold rating and three have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. National General presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $31.17.

NASDAQ:NGHC traded down $0.01 during trading hours on Friday, hitting $24.48. The stock had a trading volume of 10,659 shares, compared to its average volume of 154,575. National General has a one year low of $21.22 and a one year high of $28.89. The company has a market cap of $2.71 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 11.71 and a beta of 0.67. The business’s 50 day moving average is $23.78 and its 200-day moving average is $23.88.

National General (NASDAQ:NGHC) last issued its earnings results on Monday, July 29th. The insurance provider reported $0.67 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.60 by $0.07. National General had a net margin of 5.44% and a return on equity of 16.90%. The firm had revenue of $1.22 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.37 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $0.54 earnings per share. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 12.5% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, sell-side analysts expect that National General will post 2.7 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, October 16th. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, October 2nd will be given a dividend of $0.05 per share. This is an increase from National General’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.04. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, October 1st. This represents a $0.20 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.82%. National General’s dividend payout ratio is currently 7.66%.

National General Company Profile

National General Holdings Corp., a specialty personal lines insurance holding company, provides various insurance products and services in the United States, Bermuda, Luxembourg, and Sweden. The company's Property and Casualty segment offers standard, preferred, and nonstandard automobile insurance products; and recreational vehicle (RV) insurance products that carry RV-specific endorsements comprising automatic personal effects coverage, optional replacement cost coverage, RV storage coverage, and full-time liability coverage.

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