Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of State Auto Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:STFC) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report issued on Friday morning.

According to Zacks, “State Auto Financial Corporation is an insurance holding company, which engages, through its subsidiaries, primarily in the property and casualty insurance business. The company’s principal subsidiary is State Auto Property and Casualty Insurance Company. State Auto P&C is a regional insurer engaged primarily in writing personal and commercial automobile, homeowners, commercial multi-peril, workers’ compensation and fire insurance. “

A number of other research firms have also recently weighed in on STFC. ValuEngine upgraded State Auto Financial Corporation from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report on Friday, June 2nd. TheStreet cut State Auto Financial Corporation from a b rating to a c+ rating in a research note on Monday, May 22nd. BidaskClub cut State Auto Financial Corporation from a sell rating to a strong sell rating in a research note on Sunday, July 16th. Finally, Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reiterated a hold rating and set a $26.00 target price on shares of State Auto Financial Corporation in a research note on Friday, August 18th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating and five have given a hold rating to the stock. State Auto Financial Corporation currently has an average rating of Hold and an average target price of $26.00.

Shares of State Auto Financial Corporation (NASDAQ STFC) opened at 24.40 on Friday. The stock has a market cap of $1.03 billion, a PE ratio of 22.00 and a beta of 0.90. State Auto Financial Corporation has a 12 month low of $19.54 and a 12 month high of $27.97. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $24.92 and a 200 day moving average of $25.82.

State Auto Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:STFC) last released its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, August 8th. The insurance provider reported ($0.04) earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of ($0.16) by $0.12. The firm had revenue of $339.90 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $341.30 million. State Auto Financial Corporation had a return on equity of 1.46% and a net margin of 3.33%. State Auto Financial Corporation’s quarterly revenue was up 2.1% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned ($0.69) EPS. On average, equities analysts anticipate that State Auto Financial Corporation will post $0.39 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, September 29th. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, September 13th will be paid a dividend of $0.10 per share. This represents a $0.40 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.64%. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, September 12th. State Auto Financial Corporation’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 35.71%.

Several institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Great West Life Assurance Co. Can acquired a new position in State Auto Financial Corporation during the second quarter valued at approximately $126,000. Voya Investment Management LLC boosted its position in State Auto Financial Corporation by 21.9% in the second quarter. Voya Investment Management LLC now owns 9,076 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $234,000 after buying an additional 1,633 shares during the period. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. acquired a new position in State Auto Financial Corporation during the second quarter valued at approximately $237,000. American International Group Inc. boosted its position in State Auto Financial Corporation by 7.1% in the first quarter. American International Group Inc. now owns 9,526 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $261,000 after buying an additional 635 shares during the period. Finally, The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company boosted its position in State Auto Financial Corporation by 6.6% in the second quarter. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company now owns 13,644 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $351,000 after buying an additional 839 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 32.85% of the company’s stock.

About State Auto Financial Corporation

State Auto Financial Corporation is a property and casualty insurance holding company. The Company is engaged in writing personal, business and specialty insurance. Its segments include Personal Insurance Segment, Commercial Insurance Segment and Specialty Insurance Segment. Its Personal Insurance Segment include personal auto, homeowners and other personal; Commercial Insurance Segment include commercial auto, small commercial package, middle market commercial, workers’ compensation and other commercial, and Specialty Insurance Segment include Excess & Surplus (E&S) property, E&S casualty and programs.

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