Cincinnati Financial (CINF) Downgraded to Sell at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Cincinnati Financial (NASDAQ:CINF) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report published on Wednesday morning.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Cincinnati Financial have underperformed the industry year to date. Exposure to cat loss and a continued turmoil in group benefits associated with the ACA are headwinds. Our proven model does not conclusively show that the company is likely to beat on earnings when it reports first quarter results on Apr 25. While a Zacks Rank # 4 decreases the predictive power of ESP, an Earnings ESP of 0.00% makes prediction difficult.  yet, Cincinnati Financial’s low leverage, ample capital, consistent cash flow generation, favorable reserve release, share repurchases and consistent dividend hikes should drive growth. Management is appointing agencies and expanding product offerings to ramp up the business profile. Also, with the gradual improvement in interest rates, net investment income growth is expected in the near term. It has replaced its existing catastrophe bond program with a new collateralized reinsurance to mitigate the loss.”

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CINF has been the subject of several other reports. BidaskClub raised shares of Cincinnati Financial from a strong sell rating to a sell rating in a report on Saturday, December 30th. Langen Mcalenn reissued a neutral rating on shares of Cincinnati Financial in a report on Tuesday, January 16th. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada reissued a hold rating on shares of Cincinnati Financial in a report on Thursday, February 8th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating and four have assigned a hold rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average price target of $74.67.

Shares of NASDAQ:CINF opened at $73.53 on Wednesday. The company has a quick ratio of 0.28, a current ratio of 0.28 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.10. Cincinnati Financial has a one year low of $68.49 and a one year high of $81.98. The firm has a market capitalization of $12,139.36, a price-to-earnings ratio of 26.84 and a beta of 0.84.

Cincinnati Financial (NASDAQ:CINF) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, February 7th. The insurance provider reported $0.93 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.86 by $0.07. Cincinnati Financial had a net margin of 18.23% and a return on equity of 5.99%. The firm had revenue of $1.41 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.42 billion. During the same period last year, the firm earned $0.75 EPS. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 7.5% compared to the same quarter last year. equities analysts expect that Cincinnati Financial will post 3.28 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, April 16th. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, March 21st will be issued a dividend of $0.53 per share. This is an increase from Cincinnati Financial’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.50. This represents a $2.12 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.88%. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, March 20th. Cincinnati Financial’s payout ratio is currently 77.37%.

In related news, Director Douglas S. Skidmore acquired 650 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, February 9th. The stock was bought at an average cost of $70.65 per share, with a total value of $45,922.50. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Insiders own 9.25% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. American International Group Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of Cincinnati Financial by 10.9% during the 4th quarter. American International Group Inc. now owns 63,830 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $4,785,000 after acquiring an additional 6,266 shares during the last quarter. Prana Capital Management LP bought a new stake in shares of Cincinnati Financial during the 4th quarter worth $3,145,000. LPL Financial LLC lifted its holdings in shares of Cincinnati Financial by 28.8% during the 4th quarter. LPL Financial LLC now owns 29,941 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $2,245,000 after acquiring an additional 6,695 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of Cincinnati Financial by 0.5% during the 4th quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 13,354,092 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $1,001,157,000 after acquiring an additional 65,896 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Amalgamated Bank lifted its holdings in shares of Cincinnati Financial by 9.8% during the 4th quarter. Amalgamated Bank now owns 19,297 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $1,447,000 after acquiring an additional 1,726 shares during the last quarter. 63.31% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

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About Cincinnati Financial

Cincinnati Financial Corporation provides property casualty insurance products in the United States. The company operates in five segments: Commercial Lines Insurance, Personal Lines Insurance, Excess and Surplus Lines Insurance, Life Insurance, and Investments. The Commercial Lines Insurance segment provides coverage for commercial casualty, commercial property, commercial auto, and workers' compensation.

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