Travelers Companies (NYSE:TRV) Upgraded by Zacks Investment Research to Buy

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Travelers Companies (NYSE:TRV) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note released on Friday, January 5th. The brokerage currently has $148.00 target price on the insurance provider’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Travelers have outperformed the industry in the last three months. Travelers boasts a strong market position as one of the leading writers of auto and homeowners’ insurance and commercial U.S. property-casualty insurance with impressive inorganic growth story. It has been generating sufficient capital and prudently uses to boost shareholders’ value and pursue growth initiatives. Solid retention and positive renewal rate change are positives. But, exposure to catastrophe losses pose headwind for underwriting results. It estimates cat losses from California wildfires in $340–$440 million range for the fourth quarter. Still low interest rate environment restricts desired improvement in investment results and expects $15–$20 million lower after-tax net investment income on a quarterly basis. A Zacks Rank #2 and an Earnings ESP of -15.30% makes surprise prediction difficult for fourth quarter.”

A number of other equities research analysts have also recently weighed in on TRV. Buckingham Research started coverage on Travelers Companies in a research note on Monday, September 11th. They issued a buy rating and a $136.00 price target on the stock. Credit Suisse Group dropped their price target on Travelers Companies from $128.00 to $125.00 and set a neutral rating on the stock in a research note on Tuesday, September 12th. Wells Fargo & Co restated a hold rating and issued a $125.00 price target on shares of Travelers Companies in a research note on Tuesday, September 12th. UBS Group lowered their price objective on Travelers Companies from $126.00 to $125.00 and set a neutral rating on the stock in a research report on Tuesday, September 19th. Finally, Citigroup lowered their price objective on Travelers Companies from $142.00 to $140.00 and set a buy rating on the stock in a research report on Monday, October 2nd. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have given a hold rating and nine have issued a buy rating to the company. Travelers Companies presently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $134.38.

Travelers Companies (NYSE TRV) traded up $2.39 during trading hours on Friday, reaching $134.73. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 2,010,111 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,194,933. Travelers Companies has a 52-week low of $113.76 and a 52-week high of $137.95. The company has a current ratio of 0.41, a quick ratio of 0.41 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.29. The firm has a market cap of $36,220.91, a P/E ratio of 15.65, a P/E/G ratio of 1.87 and a beta of 1.25.

Travelers Companies (NYSE:TRV) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, October 19th. The insurance provider reported $0.91 EPS for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $2.10 by ($1.19). Travelers Companies had a net margin of 8.56% and a return on equity of 9.87%. The company had revenue of $6.66 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $6.46 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $2.40 EPS. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 4.2% compared to the same quarter last year. research analysts forecast that Travelers Companies will post 6.64 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, December 29th. Investors of record on Monday, December 11th were paid a $0.72 dividend. This represents a $2.88 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.14%. The ex-dividend date was Friday, December 8th. Travelers Companies’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 33.45%.

Travelers Companies announced that its board has authorized a stock repurchase plan on Thursday, November 9th that allows the company to repurchase outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization allows the insurance provider to purchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are typically a sign that the company’s leadership believes its stock is undervalued.

In other news, EVP Michael Frederick Klein sold 20,077 shares of Travelers Companies stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, November 21st. The stock was sold at an average price of $130.68, for a total transaction of $2,623,662.36. Following the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 21,619 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,825,170.92. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, EVP Maria Olivo sold 33,225 shares of Travelers Companies stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, November 29th. The shares were sold at an average price of $134.18, for a total value of $4,458,130.50. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 55,302 shares of company stock worth $7,347,753 over the last ninety days. 0.82% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Balyasny Asset Management LLC lifted its stake in shares of Travelers Companies by 2,272.4% in the second quarter. Balyasny Asset Management LLC now owns 1,471,130 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $186,142,000 after acquiring an additional 1,409,121 shares during the period. FIL Ltd acquired a new position in shares of Travelers Companies in the second quarter worth approximately $161,641,000. Janus Henderson Group PLC lifted its stake in shares of Travelers Companies by 3,559.7% in the second quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 1,305,445 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $165,178,000 after acquiring an additional 1,269,774 shares during the period. American Century Companies Inc. lifted its stake in shares of Travelers Companies by 2,264.8% in the second quarter. American Century Companies Inc. now owns 901,739 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $114,097,000 after acquiring an additional 863,607 shares during the period. Finally, Robeco Institutional Asset Management B.V. acquired a new position in shares of Travelers Companies in the third quarter worth approximately $78,058,000. 78.49% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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About Travelers Companies

The Travelers Companies, Inc is a holding company. The Company’s segments include Business and International Insurance; Bond & Specialty Insurance, and Personal Insurance. Through its subsidiaries, it provides commercial and personal property and casualty insurance products and services. The Business and International Insurance segment offers property and casualty insurance and insurance related services to its clients, in the United States and in Canada, as well as in the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland, Brazil and throughout other parts of the world.

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