Progressive (PGR) Shares Gap Up on Strong Earnings

Shares of Progressive Corp (NYSE:PGR) gapped up prior to trading on Wednesday following a better than expected earnings announcement. The stock had previously closed at $72.44, but opened at $70.27. Progressive shares last traded at $70.72, with a volume of 137024 shares changing hands.

The insurance provider reported $1.57 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.14 by $0.43. Progressive had a net margin of 7.57% and a return on equity of 21.84%. The firm had revenue of $8.60 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $8.43 billion. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $0.38 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue was up 20.5% compared to the same quarter last year.

Several research firms recently weighed in on PGR. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Progressive from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, September 19th. Citigroup boosted their target price on shares of Progressive from $63.00 to $65.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research report on Thursday, August 16th. ValuEngine raised shares of Progressive from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Tuesday, September 4th. Wells Fargo & Co set a $64.00 price objective on shares of Progressive and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, September 13th. Finally, MKM Partners upped their target price on shares of Progressive to $80.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, September 14th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have given a hold rating, five have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $68.64.

In related news, CEO Susan Patricia Griffith sold 12,600 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, August 16th. The shares were sold at an average price of $64.14, for a total transaction of $808,164.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 265,856 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $17,052,003.84. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this link. Also, CFO John P. Sauerland sold 12,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Thursday, August 16th. The shares were sold at an average price of $64.25, for a total transaction of $771,000.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief financial officer now directly owns 390,584 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $25,095,022. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last 90 days, insiders have sold 74,600 shares of company stock worth $4,924,164. 0.70% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the business. Trexquant Investment LP boosted its holdings in Progressive by 41.2% in the 2nd quarter. Trexquant Investment LP now owns 84,776 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $5,015,000 after purchasing an additional 24,722 shares during the period. First Republic Investment Management Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of Progressive by 6.9% during the 2nd quarter. First Republic Investment Management Inc. now owns 38,119 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $2,254,000 after acquiring an additional 2,477 shares during the period. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. NY lifted its holdings in shares of Progressive by 0.8% during the 2nd quarter. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. NY now owns 116,500 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $6,891,000 after acquiring an additional 914 shares during the period. Strs Ohio lifted its holdings in shares of Progressive by 599.2% during the 2nd quarter. Strs Ohio now owns 321,002 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $18,987,000 after acquiring an additional 275,090 shares during the period. Finally, Morgan Stanley lifted its holdings in shares of Progressive by 27.5% during the 2nd quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 874,445 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $51,725,000 after acquiring an additional 188,567 shares during the period. 80.26% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

The firm has a market capitalization of $41.38 billion, a P/E ratio of 26.85, a PEG ratio of 2.14 and a beta of 0.67. The company has a current ratio of 0.43, a quick ratio of 0.43 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.37.

Progressive Company Profile (NYSE:PGR)

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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