Sandler O’Neill Reaffirms “Buy” Rating for United Fire & Casualty (UFCS)

Sandler O’Neill reiterated their buy rating on shares of United Fire & Casualty (NASDAQ:UFCS) in a research note issued to investors on Friday. Sandler O’Neill currently has a $53.00 price objective on the insurance provider’s stock.

UFCS has been the subject of a number of other research reports. BidaskClub cut shares of United Fire & Casualty from a sell rating to a strong sell rating in a research note on Friday, December 22nd. ValuEngine cut shares of United Fire & Casualty from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note on Friday, February 2nd. Finally, Sidoti upgraded shares of United Fire & Casualty from a neutral rating to a buy rating in a research note on Thursday, February 15th.

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United Fire & Casualty stock opened at $47.91 on Friday. The firm has a market capitalization of $1,192.05, a P/E ratio of 54.38 and a beta of 0.48. United Fire & Casualty has a 1-year low of $38.95 and a 1-year high of $49.74.

United Fire & Casualty (NASDAQ:UFCS) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, February 14th. The insurance provider reported $0.89 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.48 by $0.41. The firm had revenue of $272.70 million during the quarter. United Fire & Casualty had a net margin of 4.58% and a return on equity of 2.42%. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $0.46 EPS.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, March 22nd. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, March 7th were paid a $0.28 dividend. This represents a $1.12 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.34%. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, March 6th.

In other United Fire & Casualty news, VP Barrie W. Ernst sold 7,114 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, March 9th. The shares were sold at an average price of $47.43, for a total value of $337,417.02. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, VP David E. Conner sold 4,485 shares of the stock in a transaction on Wednesday, February 21st. The shares were sold at an average price of $45.11, for a total transaction of $202,318.35. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now owns 14,382 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $648,772.02. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 5.83% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of UFCS. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA lifted its stake in shares of United Fire & Casualty by 65.7% during the 3rd quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA now owns 12,355 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $566,000 after buying an additional 4,899 shares during the last quarter. Municipal Employees Retirement System of Michigan lifted its stake in shares of United Fire & Casualty by 57.3% during the 3rd quarter. Municipal Employees Retirement System of Michigan now owns 8,040 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $368,000 after buying an additional 2,930 shares during the last quarter. Russell Investments Group Ltd. lifted its stake in shares of United Fire & Casualty by 47.9% during the 3rd quarter. Russell Investments Group Ltd. now owns 24,646 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $1,130,000 after buying an additional 7,981 shares during the last quarter. SG Americas Securities LLC acquired a new stake in shares of United Fire & Casualty during the 3rd quarter worth about $163,000. Finally, Citadel Advisors LLC lifted its stake in shares of United Fire & Casualty by 61.4% during the 3rd quarter. Citadel Advisors LLC now owns 20,718 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $949,000 after buying an additional 7,884 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 61.92% of the company’s stock.

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United Fire & Casualty Company Profile

United Fire Group, Inc, together with its subsidiaries, provides insurance protection for individuals and businesses in the United States. The company operates through two segments, Property and Casualty Insurance, and Life Insurance. The Property and Casualty Insurance segment offers commercial and personal lines of property and casualty insurance, as well as assumed reinsurance products.

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