Assured Guaranty (AGO) Sets New 12-Month High Following Strong Earnings

Shares of Assured Guaranty Ltd. (NYSE:AGO) reached a new 52-week high during mid-day trading on Friday following a stronger than expected earnings report. The company traded as high as $43.40 and last traded at $41.96, with a volume of 61454 shares. The stock had previously closed at $41.43.

The financial services provider reported $1.47 EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.72 by $0.75. Assured Guaranty had a return on equity of 7.02% and a net margin of 37.52%. The firm had revenue of $274.00 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $240.16 million. During the same period last year, the company posted $1.29 EPS. The business’s quarterly revenue was down 56.0% compared to the same quarter last year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, December 5th. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, November 21st will be given a dividend of $0.16 per share. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, November 20th. This represents a $0.64 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.54%.

A number of equities research analysts have commented on AGO shares. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods restated a “buy” rating and set a $48.00 price objective on shares of Assured Guaranty in a research report on Friday, August 3rd. ValuEngine upgraded Assured Guaranty from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, September 4th.

In other Assured Guaranty news, Director Patrick W. Kenny sold 4,300 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, September 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $41.21, for a total transaction of $177,203.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 59,468 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,450,676.28. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, insider Russell B. Brewer II sold 29,362 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, September 21st. The stock was sold at an average price of $42.36, for a total value of $1,243,774.32. Following the sale, the insider now owns 188,952 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $8,004,006.72. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 380,734 shares of company stock valued at $15,571,121 over the last 90 days. Corporate insiders own 2.62% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the business. Principal Financial Group Inc. raised its stake in shares of Assured Guaranty by 12,329.9% during the 1st quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 2,151,733 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $77,893,000 after purchasing an additional 2,134,422 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. raised its stake in shares of Assured Guaranty by 12.4% during the 2nd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 6,867,562 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $245,377,000 after purchasing an additional 757,761 shares in the last quarter. Boston Partners raised its stake in shares of Assured Guaranty by 36.5% during the 2nd quarter. Boston Partners now owns 1,856,469 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $66,332,000 after purchasing an additional 496,860 shares in the last quarter. EJF Capital LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Assured Guaranty during the 2nd quarter worth about $12,963,000. Finally, CarVal Investors LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Assured Guaranty during the 2nd quarter worth about $11,302,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 95.43% of the company’s stock.

The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.19, a current ratio of 0.56 and a quick ratio of 0.56. The company has a market capitalization of $4.46 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 10.16 and a beta of 1.30.

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Assured Guaranty Company Profile (NYSE:AGO)

Assured Guaranty Ltd., through its subsidiaries, provides credit protection products to public finance, infrastructure, and structured finance markets in the United States and internationally. It offers financial guaranty insurance that protects holders of debt instruments and other monetary obligations from defaults in scheduled payments.

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