Arthur J Gallagher & Co (AJG) Sees Strong Trading Volume

Arthur J Gallagher & Co (NYSE:AJG) shares saw an uptick in trading volume on Friday . 4,188,366 shares were traded during trading, an increase of 261% from the previous session’s volume of 1,161,562 shares.The stock last traded at $80.28 and had previously closed at $79.59.

A number of research firms have issued reports on AJG. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Arthur J Gallagher & Co from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $83.00 target price for the company in a research note on Tuesday, December 11th. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods lowered shares of Arthur J Gallagher & Co to a “market perform” rating in a research note on Thursday, December 13th. Finally, Wells Fargo & Co reissued a “buy” rating and set a $85.00 target price on shares of Arthur J Gallagher & Co in a research note on Thursday, January 31st. Six research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and seven have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $79.56.

The company has a market capitalization of $14.55 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 23.27, a P/E/G ratio of 2.03 and a beta of 0.91. The company has a current ratio of 1.06, a quick ratio of 1.06 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.68.

Arthur J Gallagher & Co (NYSE:AJG) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, January 31st. The financial services provider reported $0.53 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.51 by $0.02. The company had revenue of $1.66 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.61 billion. Arthur J Gallagher & Co had a net margin of 9.14% and a return on equity of 14.03%. On average, research analysts predict that Arthur J Gallagher & Co will post 3.84 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, March 15th. Investors of record on Friday, March 1st will be paid a dividend of $0.43 per share. This is a boost from Arthur J Gallagher & Co’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.41. This represents a $1.72 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.14%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, February 28th. Arthur J Gallagher & Co’s dividend payout ratio is presently 49.86%.

In related news, General Counsel Walter D. Bay sold 13,800 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, February 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $80.00, for a total transaction of $1,104,000.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the general counsel now directly owns 26,084 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,086,720. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, VP Thomas Joseph Gallagher bought 4,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, December 19th. The shares were bought at an average price of $73.20 per share, with a total value of $292,800.00. Following the completion of the purchase, the vice president now owns 176,958 shares in the company, valued at $12,953,325.60. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders have sold 43,700 shares of company stock valued at $3,470,046. Corporate insiders own 1.60% of the company’s stock.

Large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. BlackRock Inc. boosted its position in Arthur J Gallagher & Co by 23.3% during the fourth quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 19,674,828 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $1,450,035,000 after purchasing an additional 3,713,920 shares during the period. Vanguard Group Inc raised its position in Arthur J Gallagher & Co by 1.3% in the 3rd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc now owns 19,570,551 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $1,456,832,000 after buying an additional 259,584 shares during the last quarter. Baillie Gifford & Co. raised its position in Arthur J Gallagher & Co by 0.3% in the 4th quarter. Baillie Gifford & Co. now owns 7,143,637 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $526,486,000 after buying an additional 18,790 shares during the last quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. raised its position in Arthur J Gallagher & Co by 3.2% in the 3rd quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 3,682,827 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $274,149,000 after buying an additional 115,903 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund raised its position in Arthur J Gallagher & Co by 6,202.0% in the 4th quarter. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund now owns 2,656,369 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $36,000 after buying an additional 2,614,218 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 82.31% of the company’s stock.

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About Arthur J Gallagher & Co (NYSE:AJG)

Arthur J. Gallagher & Co, together with its subsidiaries, provides insurance brokerage, consulting, and third party claims settlement and administration services to entities in the United States and internationally. Its Brokerage segment consists of retail and wholesale insurance brokerage operations.

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