BidaskClub lowered shares of State Auto Financial (NASDAQ:STFC) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report released on Friday.

Separately, Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of State Auto Financial from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note on Wednesday, November 15th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating and three have assigned a hold rating to the company. State Auto Financial presently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $26.00.

Shares of State Auto Financial (NASDAQ STFC) traded down $0.26 during midday trading on Friday, reaching $28.72. 35,700 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 54,820. State Auto Financial has a 52 week low of $22.11 and a 52 week high of $30.85. The stock has a market cap of $1,224.88, a price-to-earnings ratio of 44.19 and a beta of 0.85. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.14, a quick ratio of 0.08 and a current ratio of 0.08.

State Auto Financial (NASDAQ:STFC) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, November 2nd. The insurance provider reported ($0.54) earnings per share for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of ($0.46) by ($0.08). The company had revenue of $358.40 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $342.70 million. State Auto Financial had a net margin of 1.94% and a negative return on equity of 1.53%. State Auto Financial’s quarterly revenue was up 1.6% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $0.10 earnings per share. equities research analysts predict that State Auto Financial will post -0.32 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, December 29th. Shareholders of record on Friday, December 8th were paid a dividend of $0.10 per share. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, December 7th. This represents a $0.40 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.39%. State Auto Financial’s dividend payout ratio is presently 61.54%.

In other news, insider John M. Petrucci sold 10,682 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, November 30th. The stock was sold at an average price of $27.84, for a total value of $297,386.88. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, VP Matthew Stanley Mrozek sold 3,380 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, December 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $27.85, for a total value of $94,133.00. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now owns 8,633 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $240,429.05. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 1.54% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Several large investors have recently bought and sold shares of STFC. Alliancebernstein L.P. increased its stake in shares of State Auto Financial by 21.9% in the 2nd quarter. Alliancebernstein L.P. now owns 529,239 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $13,617,000 after purchasing an additional 95,076 shares in the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its stake in shares of State Auto Financial by 5.8% in the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 1,252,287 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $32,222,000 after purchasing an additional 68,665 shares in the last quarter. Deprince Race & Zollo Inc. increased its stake in shares of State Auto Financial by 15.1% in the 3rd quarter. Deprince Race & Zollo Inc. now owns 430,341 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $11,288,000 after purchasing an additional 56,554 shares in the last quarter. Russell Investments Group Ltd. increased its stake in shares of State Auto Financial by 21.8% in the 3rd quarter. Russell Investments Group Ltd. now owns 191,476 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $5,022,000 after purchasing an additional 34,217 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Dimensional Fund Advisors LP increased its stake in shares of State Auto Financial by 1.1% in the 2nd quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 2,542,424 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $65,418,000 after purchasing an additional 28,779 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 33.10% of the company’s stock.

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State Auto Financial Company Profile

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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