Hartford Financial Services Group (HIG) Upgraded by Bank of America to “Buy”

Bank of America upgraded shares of Hartford Financial Services Group (NYSE:HIG) from a neutral rating to a buy rating in a research note released on Tuesday morning, MarketBeat Ratings reports. The firm currently has $59.00 price objective on the insurance provider’s stock. The analysts noted that the move was a valuation call.

Several other research firms have also recently commented on HIG. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Hartford Financial Services Group from a hold rating to a buy rating and set a $59.00 price target for the company in a research note on Wednesday, August 1st. Credit Suisse Group initiated coverage on Hartford Financial Services Group in a research report on Tuesday, August 7th. They issued a neutral rating and a $57.00 price objective for the company. ValuEngine cut Hartford Financial Services Group from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report on Thursday, August 2nd. B. Riley upgraded Hartford Financial Services Group from a neutral rating to a buy rating and increased their price objective for the stock from $55.00 to $60.00 in a research report on Monday, September 24th. Finally, TheStreet upgraded Hartford Financial Services Group from a c rating to a b rating in a research report on Thursday, July 26th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have issued a hold rating and five have assigned a buy rating to the company. The company has a consensus rating of Hold and an average target price of $58.73.

Hartford Financial Services Group stock opened at $46.79 on Tuesday. Hartford Financial Services Group has a 12 month low of $45.96 and a 12 month high of $59.20. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.34, a current ratio of 0.29 and a quick ratio of 0.29. The company has a market cap of $17.91 billion, a PE ratio of 17.20, a P/E/G ratio of 1.11 and a beta of 0.93.

Hartford Financial Services Group (NYSE:HIG) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 26th. The insurance provider reported $1.13 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.02 by $0.11. Hartford Financial Services Group had a positive return on equity of 9.84% and a negative net margin of 12.24%. The business had revenue of $4.79 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $4.63 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $0.81 earnings per share. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 13.6% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, sell-side analysts anticipate that Hartford Financial Services Group will post 4.76 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, October 1st. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, September 4th were given a $0.30 dividend. This is a boost from Hartford Financial Services Group’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.25. The ex-dividend date was Friday, August 31st. This represents a $1.20 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.56%. Hartford Financial Services Group’s dividend payout ratio is presently 43.80%.

In other Hartford Financial Services Group news, EVP David C. Robinson sold 2,395 shares of the stock in a transaction on Tuesday, July 31st. The stock was sold at an average price of $52.88, for a total value of $126,647.60. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 21,398 shares in the company, valued at $1,131,526.24. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, CFO Beth Ann Bombara sold 23,906 shares of the stock in a transaction on Wednesday, August 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $52.63, for a total value of $1,258,172.78. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief financial officer now owns 52,291 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,752,075.33. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 1.50% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in HIG. Scout Investments Inc. purchased a new position in shares of Hartford Financial Services Group in the second quarter valued at $21,568,000. Unigestion Holding SA purchased a new position in shares of Hartford Financial Services Group in the second quarter valued at $20,503,000. Deprince Race & Zollo Inc. purchased a new position in shares of Hartford Financial Services Group in the second quarter valued at $18,741,000. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP increased its position in shares of Hartford Financial Services Group by 8.4% in the second quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 4,208,452 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $215,175,000 after buying an additional 327,834 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Point72 Asset Management L.P. increased its position in shares of Hartford Financial Services Group by 85.2% in the second quarter. Point72 Asset Management L.P. now owns 657,971 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $33,642,000 after buying an additional 302,671 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 89.47% of the company’s stock.

About Hartford Financial Services Group

The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc, through its subsidiaries, provides insurance and financial services to individual and business customers in the United States. It operates through five segments: Commercial Lines, Personal Lines, Property & Casualty Other Operations, Group Benefits, and Mutual Funds.

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Analyst Recommendations for Hartford Financial Services Group (NYSE:HIG)

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