Stewart Information Services (NYSE:STC) Upgraded by StockNews.com to “Buy”

StockNews.com upgraded shares of Stewart Information Services (NYSE:STCGet Rating) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note released on Tuesday.

Other equities research analysts also recently issued reports about the company. BTIG Research reduced their price objective on Stewart Information Services from $89.00 to $80.00 in a research note on Friday, April 29th. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Stewart Information Services from a strong-buy rating to a hold rating in a research note on Wednesday, May 4th.

NYSE:STC opened at $56.17 on Tuesday. The company has a quick ratio of 2.18, a current ratio of 2.29 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.34. Stewart Information Services has a 1-year low of $49.18 and a 1-year high of $81.00. The firm has a market capitalization of $1.52 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 4.66 and a beta of 1.14. The stock has a fifty day simple moving average of $58.89 and a 200 day simple moving average of $68.41.

Stewart Information Services (NYSE:STCGet Rating) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, April 27th. The insurance provider reported $2.03 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.30 by $0.73. Stewart Information Services had a return on equity of 24.84% and a net margin of 9.42%. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $1.92 earnings per share. Equities analysts predict that Stewart Information Services will post 8.89 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, March 31st. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, March 15th were paid a dividend of $0.375 per share. This represents a $1.50 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.67%. The ex-dividend date was Monday, March 14th. Stewart Information Services’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 12.51%.

In other Stewart Information Services news, insider Steven Mark Lessack bought 3,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Thursday, May 12th. The shares were purchased at an average price of $55.20 per share, with a total value of $165,600.00. Following the acquisition, the insider now directly owns 9,291 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $512,863.20. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, Director C Allen Bradley, Jr. bought 1,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Wednesday, March 16th. The stock was acquired at an average cost of $66.54 per share, for a total transaction of $66,540.00. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Insiders have bought a total of 7,000 shares of company stock valued at $388,140 over the last ninety days. Company insiders own 1.50% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. UMB Bank N A MO acquired a new stake in shares of Stewart Information Services during the 4th quarter worth approximately $39,000. First Horizon Advisors Inc. grew its holdings in shares of Stewart Information Services by 204.6% during the 4th quarter. First Horizon Advisors Inc. now owns 661 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $52,000 after purchasing an additional 444 shares in the last quarter. Pinebridge Investments L.P. acquired a new stake in shares of Stewart Information Services during the 4th quarter worth approximately $96,000. Heritage Wealth Management LLC grew its holdings in shares of Stewart Information Services by 25.7% during the 3rd quarter. Heritage Wealth Management LLC now owns 1,767 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $112,000 after purchasing an additional 361 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Lazard Asset Management LLC grew its holdings in shares of Stewart Information Services by 16.8% during the 4th quarter. Lazard Asset Management LLC now owns 1,798 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $143,000 after purchasing an additional 259 shares in the last quarter. 92.23% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About Stewart Information Services (Get Rating)

Stewart Information Services Corporation, through its subsidiaries, provides title insurance and real estate transaction related services. The company operates in two segments, Title, and Ancillary Services and Corporate. The Title segment is involved in searching, examining, closing, and insuring the condition of the title to real property.

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