BidaskClub Upgrades State Auto Financial (STFC) to “Buy”

State Auto Financial (NASDAQ:STFC) was upgraded by investment analysts at BidaskClub from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note issued to investors on Wednesday, March 14th.

Separately, Zacks Investment Research raised shares of State Auto Financial from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, January 10th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and one has assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $29.50.

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NASDAQ STFC traded down $0.44 during trading hours on Wednesday, hitting $28.08. 31,029 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 56,018. State Auto Financial has a 52-week low of $22.11 and a 52-week high of $30.85. The stock has a market cap of $1,222.15, a PE ratio of -70.20 and a beta of 0.84. The company has a current ratio of 0.07, a quick ratio of 0.07 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.14.

State Auto Financial (NASDAQ:STFC) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, February 20th. The insurance provider reported $0.40 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.47 by ($0.07). State Auto Financial had a negative net margin of 0.75% and a negative return on equity of 1.85%. The business had revenue of $362.90 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $289.70 million. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $0.46 EPS. The firm’s revenue was down .5% on a year-over-year basis. sell-side analysts forecast that State Auto Financial will post 1.45 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In other news, insider Melissa A. Centers sold 1,067 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, February 23rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $27.62, for a total value of $29,470.54. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through this link. Also, insider Steven Eugene English sold 10,834 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, February 27th. The stock was sold at an average price of $27.83, for a total transaction of $301,510.22. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders sold 12,691 shares of company stock valued at $352,777. Corporate insiders own 1.54% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the company. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company lifted its holdings in shares of State Auto Financial by 6.6% in the 2nd quarter. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company now owns 13,644 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $351,000 after acquiring an additional 839 shares during the last quarter. Voya Investment Management LLC lifted its holdings in shares of State Auto Financial by 21.9% in the 2nd quarter. Voya Investment Management LLC now owns 9,076 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $234,000 after acquiring an additional 1,633 shares during the last quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp lifted its holdings in shares of State Auto Financial by 2.1% in the 4th quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 117,013 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $3,408,000 after acquiring an additional 2,423 shares during the last quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC lifted its holdings in shares of State Auto Financial by 1.9% in the 4th quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 155,801 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $4,536,000 after acquiring an additional 2,881 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of State Auto Financial by 5.0% in the 3rd quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 63,059 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $1,655,000 after acquiring an additional 2,977 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 34.67% of the company’s stock.

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State Auto Financial Company Profile

State Auto Financial Corporation, through its subsidiaries, engages in writing personal, business, and specialty insurance products. It operates through four segments: Personal Insurance, Commercial Insurance, Specialty Insurance, and Investment Operations. The Personal Insurance segment primarily provides personal automobile, homeowners insurance, and other personal insurance products.

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