Assured Guaranty Ltd. (NYSE:AGO) was the recipient of some unusual options trading on Tuesday. Stock traders purchased 2,216 put options on the company. This represents an increase of approximately 1,079% compared to the average volume of 188 put options.
Several large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Xact Kapitalforvaltning AB bought a new stake in shares of Assured Guaranty during the fourth quarter worth about $393,000. Delek Group Ltd. bought a new stake in shares of Assured Guaranty during the fourth quarter worth about $8,455,000. Philadelphia Financial Management of San Francisco LLC grew its holdings in shares of Assured Guaranty by 37.1% during the fourth quarter. Philadelphia Financial Management of San Francisco LLC now owns 1,048,474 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $35,512,000 after purchasing an additional 283,472 shares during the last quarter. Sciencast Management LP grew its holdings in shares of Assured Guaranty by 41.2% during the fourth quarter. Sciencast Management LP now owns 15,277 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $532,000 after purchasing an additional 4,454 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Meadow Creek Investment Management LLC grew its holdings in shares of Assured Guaranty by 5.1% during the fourth quarter. Meadow Creek Investment Management LLC now owns 219,352 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $7,429,000 after purchasing an additional 10,724 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 97.83% of the company’s stock.
Shares of AGO stock opened at $35.02 on Wednesday. The firm has a market capitalization of $4,057.80, a PE ratio of 5.95 and a beta of 1.40. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.19, a quick ratio of 0.50 and a current ratio of 0.50. Assured Guaranty has a twelve month low of $32.97 and a twelve month high of $45.73.
Assured Guaranty (NYSE:AGO) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, February 22nd. The financial services provider reported $0.77 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.71 by $0.06. The company had revenue of $283.00 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $273.89 million. Assured Guaranty had a return on equity of 9.76% and a net margin of 41.98%. During the same period in the previous year, the business posted $1.05 earnings per share.
The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, March 21st. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, March 7th will be issued a dividend of $0.16 per share. This is a boost from Assured Guaranty’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.14. This represents a $0.64 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.83%. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, March 6th. Assured Guaranty’s payout ratio is 10.87%.
A number of research analysts have issued reports on AGO shares. BTIG Research reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $50.00 target price on shares of Assured Guaranty in a research report on Tuesday, February 6th. ValuEngine cut Assured Guaranty from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, February 2nd. Finally, Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reiterated an “outperform” rating and issued a $47.00 target price on shares of Assured Guaranty in a research report on Wednesday, December 20th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a hold rating and five have given a buy rating to the company. Assured Guaranty currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $48.00.
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About Assured Guaranty
Assured Guaranty Ltd. is a holding company. The Company, through its subsidiaries, provides credit protection products to the United States and international public finance, including infrastructure, and structured finance markets. It applies its credit underwriting judgment, risk management skills and capital markets experience primarily to offer financial guaranty insurance that protects holders of debt instruments and other monetary obligations from defaults in scheduled payments.
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