William Blair Lowers National General (NASDAQ:NGHC) to Market Perform

William Blair downgraded shares of National General (NASDAQ:NGHC) from an outperform rating to a market perform rating in a report released on Wednesday morning, FlyOnTheWall reports.

Several other equities analysts also recently issued reports on the company. B. Riley boosted their price objective on National General from $28.00 to $34.50 and gave the stock a neutral rating in a research report on Wednesday. TheStreet upgraded National General from a c rating to a b- rating in a research report on Tuesday, June 16th. Zacks Investment Research downgraded National General from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report on Tuesday, June 23rd. BidaskClub upgraded National General from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research report on Tuesday, May 19th. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. initiated coverage on National General in a research report on Sunday, April 19th. They issued a neutral rating and a $26.00 target price for the company. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating and six have issued a hold rating to the company. National General currently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $27.17.

Shares of NASDAQ NGHC opened at $33.75 on Wednesday. The stock has a 50 day simple moving average of $21.28 and a 200-day simple moving average of $19.83. The company has a market cap of $3.84 billion, a PE ratio of 11.68 and a beta of 0.86. National General has a 12-month low of $11.82 and a 12-month high of $34.06.

National General (NASDAQ:NGHC) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, April 29th. The insurance provider reported $0.91 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.86 by $0.05. The business had revenue of $1.27 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.45 billion. National General had a return on equity of 16.97% and a net margin of 6.60%. The business’s revenue was up 7.1% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $0.77 earnings per share. As a group, equities research analysts forecast that National General will post 3.21 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, July 15th. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, July 1st will be issued a $0.05 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, June 30th. This represents a $0.20 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.59%. National General’s dividend payout ratio is currently 7.27%.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the business. Advisor Group Inc. increased its holdings in shares of National General by 190.9% in the fourth quarter. Advisor Group Inc. now owns 1,312 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $30,000 after buying an additional 861 shares in the last quarter. Pearl River Capital LLC bought a new position in shares of National General in the first quarter valued at $41,000. NumerixS Investment Technologies Inc increased its holdings in shares of National General by 320.0% in the fourth quarter. NumerixS Investment Technologies Inc now owns 2,100 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $46,000 after buying an additional 1,600 shares in the last quarter. WASHINGTON TRUST Co bought a new position in shares of National General in the first quarter valued at $50,000. Finally, KBC Group NV bought a new position in shares of National General in the first quarter valued at $97,000. 52.65% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

About National General

National General Holdings Corp., a specialty personal lines insurance holding company, provides various insurance products and services in the United States, Bermuda, Luxembourg, and Sweden. The company's Property and Casualty segment offers standard, preferred, and nonstandard automobile insurance products; and recreational vehicle (RV) insurance products that carry RV-specific endorsements comprising automatic personal effects coverage, optional replacement cost coverage, RV storage coverage, and full-time liability coverage.

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