Short Interest in Progressive Corp (NYSE:PGR) Drops By 11.6%

Progressive Corp (NYSE:PGR) was the target of a large drop in short interest during the month of June. As of June 30th, there was short interest totalling 4,468,200 shares, a drop of 11.6% from the May 30th total of 5,052,000 shares. Based on an average daily volume of 2,850,000 shares, the short-interest ratio is currently 1.6 days. Approximately 0.8% of the shares of the company are short sold.

Several brokerages recently issued reports on PGR. UBS Group set a $25.00 price target on Macy’s and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, May 17th. B. Riley set a $18.00 price target on TiVo and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, June 13th. Credit Suisse Group reaffirmed an “underperform” rating on shares of MARKS & SPENCER/S in a research note on Wednesday, April 17th. Buckingham Research set a $64.00 target price on Progressive and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday, May 13th. Finally, Barclays reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $65.00 target price on shares of Owens Corning in a research note on Monday, July 1st. Five research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, eight have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company. Progressive presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $80.00.

Progressive stock traded up $0.64 during mid-day trading on Friday, hitting $84.39. 1,418,381 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 2,562,709. The company has a 50 day moving average price of $81.51. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.38, a quick ratio of 0.40 and a current ratio of 0.40. The firm has a market cap of $48.91 billion, a P/E ratio of 19.09, a PEG ratio of 2.14 and a beta of 0.69. Progressive has a one year low of $56.71 and a one year high of $84.41.

Progressive (NYSE:PGR) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, April 16th. The insurance provider reported $1.83 EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.38 by $0.45. Progressive had a return on equity of 27.10% and a net margin of 8.77%. The company had revenue of $9.24 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $9.20 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $1.22 EPS. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 16.0% compared to the same quarter last year. Sell-side analysts forecast that Progressive will post 5.34 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, July 15th. Stockholders of record on Friday, July 5th will be paid a $0.10 dividend. This represents a $0.40 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 0.47%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, July 3rd. Progressive’s dividend payout ratio is presently 9.05%.

In related news, insider John A. Barbagallo sold 48,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, April 26th. The stock was sold at an average price of $75.78, for a total value of $3,637,440.00. Following the sale, the insider now owns 84,370 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $6,393,558.60. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, Director Dyke Kahina Van sold 1,715 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, May 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $78.49, for a total value of $134,610.35. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 2,464 shares in the company, valued at approximately $193,399.36. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders sold 146,350 shares of company stock worth $11,313,287. Company insiders own 0.39% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of PGR. Norges Bank bought a new stake in shares of Progressive in the 4th quarter worth $346,597,000. Amundi Pioneer Asset Management Inc. raised its stake in shares of Progressive by 106.0% in the 1st quarter. Amundi Pioneer Asset Management Inc. now owns 5,112,626 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $368,569,000 after buying an additional 2,631,367 shares in the last quarter. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. raised its stake in shares of Progressive by 266.9% in the 1st quarter. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. now owns 1,907,393 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $137,505,000 after buying an additional 1,387,591 shares in the last quarter. AGF Investments Inc. bought a new stake in shares of Progressive in the 1st quarter worth $59,119,000. Finally, California Public Employees Retirement System raised its stake in shares of Progressive by 23.2% in the 1st quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 3,875,237 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $279,366,000 after buying an additional 730,118 shares in the last quarter. 79.01% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

About Progressive

The Progressive Corporation, through its subsidiaries, provides personal and commercial auto insurance, residential property insurance, and other specialty property-casualty insurance and related services primarily in the United States. Its Personal Lines segment writes insurance for personal autos, and recreational and other vehicles.

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