Hartford Financial Services Group Inc (NYSE:HIG) was the recipient of some unusual options trading activity on Thursday. Stock investors purchased 6,609 put options on the company. This is an increase of 961% compared to the average daily volume of 623 put options.

HIG has been the subject of a number of recent analyst reports. UBS Group boosted their target price on shares of Hartford Financial Services Group from $61.00 to $65.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, July 10th. Royal Bank of Canada boosted their target price on shares of Hartford Financial Services Group to $68.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research note on Monday, August 5th. Morgan Stanley boosted their target price on shares of Hartford Financial Services Group from $58.00 to $61.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a research note on Thursday, August 15th. Buckingham Research boosted their target price on shares of Hartford Financial Services Group from $60.00 to $63.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, July 19th. Finally, Barclays set a $70.00 target price on shares of Hartford Financial Services Group and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, August 12th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have given a hold rating and ten have issued a buy rating to the company. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $62.08.

In other news, insider William A. Bloom sold 7,927 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, June 18th. The shares were sold at an average price of $54.48, for a total transaction of $431,862.96. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 23,440 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,277,011.20. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, Director Robert B. Allardice III sold 9,500 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Monday, August 12th. The shares were sold at an average price of $58.22, for a total transaction of $553,090.00. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 21,684 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,262,442.48. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 108,109 shares of company stock valued at $6,084,135 over the last three months. Insiders own 1.70% of the company’s stock.

A number of large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. BRITISH COLUMBIA INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT Corp lifted its stake in Hartford Financial Services Group by 0.3% in the second quarter. BRITISH COLUMBIA INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT Corp now owns 200,602 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $11,178,000 after acquiring an additional 653 shares during the period. Treasurer of the State of North Carolina lifted its stake in Hartford Financial Services Group by 0.5% in the second quarter. Treasurer of the State of North Carolina now owns 182,993 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $10,196,000 after acquiring an additional 994 shares during the period. Nomura Holdings Inc. purchased a new stake in Hartford Financial Services Group in the second quarter worth about $9,604,000. BlackRock Inc. lifted its stake in Hartford Financial Services Group by 8.1% in the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 30,044,477 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $1,674,077,000 after acquiring an additional 2,257,147 shares during the period. Finally, Colony Group LLC lifted its stake in Hartford Financial Services Group by 161.2% in the second quarter. Colony Group LLC now owns 11,471 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $639,000 after acquiring an additional 7,080 shares during the period. 91.60% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

NYSE:HIG traded up $0.39 during mid-day trading on Friday, reaching $60.32. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 1,862,313 shares, compared to its average volume of 2,057,927. Hartford Financial Services Group has a 1 year low of $40.54 and a 1 year high of $60.77. The stock has a fifty day moving average of $58.43 and a 200-day moving average of $54.00. The firm has a market capitalization of $21.84 billion, a PE ratio of 13.93, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.19 and a beta of 0.64. The company has a quick ratio of 0.28, a current ratio of 0.28 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.27.

Hartford Financial Services Group (NYSE:HIG) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, August 1st. The insurance provider reported $1.33 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.11 by $0.22. Hartford Financial Services Group had a net margin of 8.36% and a return on equity of 12.44%. The company had revenue of $5.09 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $5.07 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $1.13 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 6.3% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, analysts expect that Hartford Financial Services Group will post 5.24 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, October 1st. Investors of record on Tuesday, September 3rd will be paid a $0.30 dividend. This represents a $1.20 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.99%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, August 30th. Hartford Financial Services Group’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 27.71%.

Hartford Financial Services Group Company Profile

The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc, through its subsidiaries, provides insurance and financial services to individual and business customers in the United States. Its Commercial Lines segment offers workers' compensation, property, automobile, marine, livestock, liability, and umbrella coverages; and customized insurance products and risk management services, including professional liability, bond, surety, and specialty casualty coverages.

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