BidaskClub downgraded shares of State Auto Financial (NASDAQ:STFC) from a sell rating to a strong sell rating in a research report sent to investors on Wednesday morning, BidAskClub reports.

Separately, Zacks Investment Research lowered State Auto Financial from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report on Saturday, February 16th.

Shares of NASDAQ:STFC traded up $0.02 during trading on Wednesday, hitting $32.83. 142 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 38,420. The firm has a market capitalization of $1.39 billion, a PE ratio of 27.25 and a beta of 0.42. State Auto Financial has a one year low of $27.59 and a one year high of $35.05. The company has a current ratio of 0.06, a quick ratio of 0.06 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.15.

State Auto Financial (NASDAQ:STFC) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, February 14th. The insurance provider reported $0.67 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.63 by $0.04. The company had revenue of $264.40 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $325.65 million. State Auto Financial had a return on equity of 6.16% and a net margin of 1.00%. The business’s revenue was down 27.2% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned ($0.49) earnings per share. As a group, analysts predict that State Auto Financial will post 1.85 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, March 28th. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, March 13th were given a $0.10 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, March 12th. This represents a $0.40 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.22%. State Auto Financial’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 33.33%.

In other State Auto Financial news, insider Melissa A. Centers sold 1,095 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, February 19th. The stock was sold at an average price of $34.81, for a total value of $38,116.95. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Corporate insiders own 1.83% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. James Investment Research Inc. acquired a new stake in State Auto Financial in the fourth quarter worth approximately $1,076,000. Barclays PLC lifted its position in shares of State Auto Financial by 166.5% during the 4th quarter. Barclays PLC now owns 18,486 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $630,000 after acquiring an additional 11,549 shares during the last quarter. Thrivent Financial for Lutherans lifted its position in shares of State Auto Financial by 11.0% during the 4th quarter. Thrivent Financial for Lutherans now owns 383,838 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $13,066,000 after acquiring an additional 38,126 shares during the last quarter. MetLife Investment Advisors LLC lifted its position in shares of State Auto Financial by 52.4% during the 3rd quarter. MetLife Investment Advisors LLC now owns 12,098 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $369,000 after acquiring an additional 4,158 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Bank of New York Mellon Corp lifted its position in shares of State Auto Financial by 2.7% during the 3rd quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 124,891 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $3,814,000 after acquiring an additional 3,275 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 35.35% of the company’s stock.

About State Auto Financial

State Auto Financial Corporation, through its subsidiaries, engages in writing personal, business, and specialty insurance products. It operates through four segments: Personal Insurance, Commercial Insurance, Specialty Insurance, and Investment Operations. The Personal Insurance segment primarily provides personal automobile, homeowners insurance, and other personal insurance products.

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