Arthur J Gallagher & Co (AJG) Upgraded to “Buy” at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Arthur J Gallagher & Co (NYSE:AJG) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note published on Wednesday, December 27th. They currently have $70.00 price objective on the financial services provider’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Arthur J. Gallagher have outperformed the industry, year to date. The company also witnessed its 2017 and 2018 estimates moving north in the last 60 days. Arthur J. Gallagher’s inorganic story seems impressive with strategic buyouts, with the company intending to pursue smaller tuck-in mergers in 2017. It remains focused on tapping opportunities in the U.K., Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the U.S. The company remains focused on enhancing productivity and quality that is a part of its value creation strategy. A solid performance is leading to sufficient cash flows help it deploy capital in shareholder-friendly moves. However, ecalating expenses and weak commercial P&C rates pose concerns. Adverse foreign exchange also will weigh on results.”

Other equities research analysts have also issued reports about the stock. Wells Fargo & Co set a $74.00 price target on shares of Arthur J Gallagher & Co and gave the company a buy rating in a research note on Friday, December 8th. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reiterated a buy rating and issued a $77.00 price target on shares of Arthur J Gallagher & Co in a research note on Friday, December 22nd. Royal Bank of Canada restated a hold rating and set a $59.00 price objective on shares of Arthur J Gallagher & Co in a research note on Tuesday, October 10th. Deutsche Bank lowered shares of Arthur J Gallagher & Co from a buy rating to a hold rating and set a $64.00 price objective on the stock. in a research note on Wednesday, October 4th. Finally, ValuEngine lowered shares of Arthur J Gallagher & Co from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note on Friday, December 1st. Six analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and six have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $68.11.

Shares of Arthur J Gallagher & Co (AJG) opened at $63.40 on Wednesday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.66, a current ratio of 1.08 and a quick ratio of 1.08. Arthur J Gallagher & Co has a 52 week low of $51.96 and a 52 week high of $67.32. The stock has a market cap of $11,460.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 25.36, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.91 and a beta of 1.23.

Arthur J Gallagher & Co (NYSE:AJG) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, October 26th. The financial services provider reported $0.81 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.79 by $0.02. Arthur J Gallagher & Co had a net margin of 7.62% and a return on equity of 13.56%. The firm had revenue of $1.58 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.60 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $0.77 EPS. The company’s revenue was up 6.9% compared to the same quarter last year. equities research analysts anticipate that Arthur J Gallagher & Co will post 2.99 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, December 15th. Stockholders of record on Friday, December 1st were paid a dividend of $0.39 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, November 30th. This represents a $1.56 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.46%. Arthur J Gallagher & Co’s dividend payout ratio is presently 62.40%.

In related news, VP Scott R. Hudson sold 7,600 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, December 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $65.29, for a total value of $496,204.00. Following the transaction, the vice president now owns 25,027 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,634,012.83. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, Director Frank E. Jr. English sold 1,500 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, November 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $63.67, for a total transaction of $95,505.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 10,600 shares in the company, valued at approximately $674,902. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 1.60% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Invictus RG acquired a new position in Arthur J Gallagher & Co in the 3rd quarter valued at about $130,000. Eagle Boston Investment Management Inc. acquired a new position in Arthur J Gallagher & Co in the 3rd quarter valued at about $201,000. Doyle Wealth Management bought a new stake in Arthur J Gallagher & Co in the 3rd quarter valued at about $203,000. Pacer Advisors Inc. boosted its holdings in Arthur J Gallagher & Co by 8.2% in the 2nd quarter. Pacer Advisors Inc. now owns 3,437 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $197,000 after purchasing an additional 261 shares during the period. Finally, Coldstream Capital Management Inc. bought a new stake in Arthur J Gallagher & Co in the 2nd quarter valued at about $202,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 82.47% of the company’s stock.

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About Arthur J Gallagher & Co

Arthur J. Gallagher & Co and its subsidiaries are engaged in providing insurance brokerage and consulting services, and third-party claims settlement and administration services to both domestic and international entities. The Company operates through three segments: brokerage, risk management and corporate.

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