Investors Buy Large Volume of AmTrust Financial Services Call Options (NASDAQ:AFSI)

AmTrust Financial Services Inc (NASDAQ:AFSI) was the recipient of some unusual options trading activity on Wednesday. Investors acquired 16,735 call options on the company. This is an increase of 4,012% compared to the typical daily volume of 407 call options.

In other news, SVP Ariel Gorelik acquired 2,962 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, November 15th. The shares were bought at an average price of $9.33 per share, for a total transaction of $27,635.46. Following the completion of the purchase, the senior vice president now directly owns 5,977 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $55,765.41. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Insiders own 50.80% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Harel Insurance Investments & Financial Services Ltd. bought a new stake in AmTrust Financial Services during the fourth quarter worth approximately $101,000. Unison Advisors LLC bought a new stake in AmTrust Financial Services during the fourth quarter worth approximately $119,000. Commerzbank Aktiengesellschaft FI bought a new stake in AmTrust Financial Services during the third quarter worth approximately $135,000. Sapphire Star Partners LP bought a new stake in AmTrust Financial Services during the third quarter worth approximately $153,000. Finally, Paragon Capital Management Ltd bought a new stake in AmTrust Financial Services during the third quarter worth approximately $165,000. 33.57% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

AmTrust Financial Services (NASDAQ AFSI) traded down $0.36 during midday trading on Friday, reaching $12.85. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 1,111,781 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,670,000. The firm has a market cap of $2,520.00, a P/E ratio of -40.16 and a beta of 1.28. AmTrust Financial Services has a 12-month low of $8.80 and a 12-month high of $27.93. The company has a current ratio of 0.53, a quick ratio of 0.53 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.46.

AmTrust Financial Services (NASDAQ:AFSI) last issued its earnings results on Wednesday, November 8th. The insurance provider reported ($0.04) earnings per share for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.33 by ($0.37). The business had revenue of $1.46 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.29 billion. AmTrust Financial Services had a net margin of 0.49% and a return on equity of 9.07%. AmTrust Financial Services’s revenue for the quarter was up 4.3% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $0.47 EPS. research analysts forecast that AmTrust Financial Services will post 0.91 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, January 16th. Investors of record on Tuesday, January 2nd were paid a $0.17 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Friday, December 29th. This represents a $0.68 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 5.29%. AmTrust Financial Services’s payout ratio is -212.50%.

Several research firms have weighed in on AFSI. FBR & Co lowered shares of AmTrust Financial Services from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $14.00 target price for the company. in a research note on Tuesday, October 24th. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of AmTrust Financial Services from a “strong sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, October 10th. ValuEngine downgraded shares of AmTrust Financial Services from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Friday. B. Riley reaffirmed a “neutral” rating and issued a $12.00 price objective on shares of AmTrust Financial Services in a report on Monday, November 6th. Finally, BidaskClub raised shares of AmTrust Financial Services from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, January 3rd. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have issued a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. AmTrust Financial Services presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $14.71.

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AmTrust Financial Services Company Profile

Amtrust Financial Services, Inc (AmTrust) is an insurance holding company. The Company, through its subsidiaries, provides specialty property and casualty insurance focusing on workers’ compensation and commercial package coverage for small business, specialty risk and extended warranty coverage, and property and casualty coverage for middle market business.

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