American Financial Group, Inc. (NYSE:AFG) Upgraded to Buy by BidaskClub

BidaskClub upgraded shares of American Financial Group, Inc. (NYSE:AFG) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report issued on Friday.

Separately, Zacks Investment Research raised American Financial Group from a hold rating to a buy rating and set a $112.00 price target on the stock in a research note on Monday, May 8th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a hold rating and four have assigned a buy rating to the company. The company currently has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $92.00.

American Financial Group (NYSE AFG) traded up 0.08% during mid-day trading on Friday, reaching $101.64. 125,838 shares of the company traded hands. The company’s 50-day moving average is $99.07 and its 200-day moving average is $93.99. American Financial Group has a 12-month low of $70.82 and a 12-month high of $103.19. The stock has a market capitalization of $8.91 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 12.85 and a beta of 0.83.

American Financial Group (NYSE:AFG) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, May 3rd. The insurance provider reported $1.69 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.37 by $0.32. The company had revenue of $1.58 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.14 billion. American Financial Group had a return on equity of 11.11% and a net margin of 10.62%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 6.8% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $1.25 earnings per share. Equities analysts predict that American Financial Group will post $6.56 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, July 25th. Investors of record on Friday, July 14th will be paid a $0.3125 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, July 12th. This represents a $1.25 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.23%. American Financial Group’s payout ratio is 15.82%.

In other news, CEO Carl H. Lindner III sold 95,405 shares of the stock in a transaction on Wednesday, June 7th. The stock was sold at an average price of $98.68, for a total value of $9,414,565.40. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this link. Also, CEO S Craig Lindner sold 26,475 shares of the stock in a transaction on Tuesday, May 9th. The stock was sold at an average price of $99.46, for a total value of $2,633,203.50. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders sold 375,215 shares of company stock worth $37,465,772. 14.90% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Several large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. BlackRock Inc. boosted its stake in American Financial Group by 10,325.5% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 5,915,732 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $564,476,000 after buying an additional 5,858,989 shares in the last quarter. Norges Bank bought a new stake in American Financial Group during the fourth quarter worth approximately $62,323,000. Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its stake in American Financial Group by 7.1% in the first quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 6,517,519 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $621,902,000 after buying an additional 431,262 shares in the last quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN boosted its stake in American Financial Group by 114.4% in the first quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 290,597 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $27,728,000 after buying an additional 155,085 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Victory Capital Management Inc. boosted its stake in American Financial Group by 5.8% in the first quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 2,098,038 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $200,195,000 after buying an additional 114,826 shares in the last quarter. 61.79% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About American Financial Group

American Financial Group, Inc (AFG) is a holding company engaged primarily in property and casualty insurance businesses. The Company, through Great American Insurance Group, focuses on commercial products for businesses, and is engaged in the sale of fixed and fixed-indexed annuities in the retail, financial institutions and education markets.

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