Brown & Brown (BRO) Rating Lowered to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Brown & Brown (NYSE:BRO) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report issued on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Brown & Brown have outperformed the industry year to date. Brown & Brown’s compelling portfolio with impressive growth is driven by organic and inorganic initiatives. Plus, a solid capital position drives the company well for long- term growth. A solid performance is boosting cash flow, which should help the company deploy capital in shareholder-friendly moves. However, increased financial leverage and an exposure to currency exchange rate fluctuations are headwinds. Also, heavy dependence on limited clients for commission revenues raises caution. Moreover, escalating expenses are likely to hurt margins. The company has not witnessed any earnings movement for its 2018 and 2019 estimates in the last 60 days.”

A number of other equities analysts have also recently weighed in on BRO. Goldman Sachs Group started coverage on shares of Brown & Brown in a research report on Monday, June 18th. They set a neutral rating and a $31.00 price objective for the company. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Citigroup upped their price objective on shares of Brown & Brown from $25.00 to $26.00 and gave the stock a sell rating in a research report on Thursday, July 12th. Wells Fargo & Co restated a hold rating and set a $26.00 price objective on shares of Brown & Brown in a research report on Monday, July 23rd. SunTrust Banks restated a buy rating and set a $33.00 price objective on shares of Brown & Brown in a research report on Tuesday, July 24th. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada restated a hold rating and set a $30.00 price objective on shares of Brown & Brown in a research report on Wednesday, July 25th. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have issued a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the stock. Brown & Brown currently has an average rating of Hold and an average price target of $28.46.

Shares of NYSE BRO opened at $27.91 on Tuesday. Brown & Brown has a 1 year low of $24.28 and a 1 year high of $31.55. The firm has a market cap of $8.26 billion, a P/E ratio of 29.07, a PEG ratio of 2.43 and a beta of 0.70. The company has a current ratio of 0.98, a quick ratio of 0.98 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.30.

Brown & Brown (NYSE:BRO) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Monday, July 23rd. The financial services provider reported $0.26 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.28 by ($0.02). The firm had revenue of $473.10 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $472.74 million. Brown & Brown had a return on equity of 11.75% and a net margin of 22.25%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 1.5% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the company posted $0.25 earnings per share. On average, research analysts anticipate that Brown & Brown will post 1.22 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, November 7th. Stockholders of record on Friday, October 26th will be given a $0.08 dividend. This represents a $0.32 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.15%. This is a boost from Brown & Brown’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.08. Brown & Brown’s dividend payout ratio is 31.25%.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. Bruderman Asset Management LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Brown & Brown in the second quarter valued at about $117,000. Itau Unibanco Holding S.A. acquired a new stake in shares of Brown & Brown in the second quarter valued at about $144,000. Rowland & Co. Investment Counsel ADV acquired a new stake in shares of Brown & Brown in the second quarter valued at about $183,000. Palladium Partners LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Brown & Brown in the second quarter valued at about $211,000. Finally, Connor Clark & Lunn Investment Management Ltd. acquired a new stake in shares of Brown & Brown in the second quarter valued at about $225,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 71.97% of the company’s stock.

Brown & Brown Company Profile

Brown & Brown, Inc markets and sells insurance products in the United States, England, Canada, Bermuda, and the Cayman Islands. Its Retail segment offers property insurance relating to physical damage to property and resultant interruption of business, or extra expense caused by fire, windstorm, or other perils; casualty insurance relating to legal liabilities, professional liability, cyber-liability, workers' compensation, and commercial and private passenger automobile coverages; fidelity and surety bonds; and life, accident, disability, health, hospitalization, medical, dental, and other ancillary insurance products, as well as risk management, loss control surveys and analysis, consultation, and claims processing services.

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