Hartford Financial Services Group (HIG) Upgraded at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Hartford Financial Services Group (NYSE:HIG) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report released on Monday morning. They currently have $57.00 price objective on the insurance provider’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Hartford Financials’ strategic initiatives pave the way for long-term growth. Moreover, its investment results are impressive on the back of recent interest rate hikes. Its efficient capital management also remains a positive. The company’ performance has improved due to sturdy underwriting, strong investment performance and lower tax rates. It has also witnessed its Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2018 and 2019 earnings being revised upward in the last 30 days. Shares of the company have outperformed its industry’s decline in the past three months. However, being a property and casualty insurer, the company is severely exposed to catastrophic loss. Moreover, softness in Personal Lines segment remains a major headwind. The company has been witnessing a persistent decline in revenues since 2013.”

Other equities analysts also recently issued reports about the company. ValuEngine downgraded Hartford Financial Services Group from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report on Tuesday, April 24th. Wells Fargo & Co set a $56.00 price target on Hartford Financial Services Group and gave the company a hold rating in a report on Monday, April 2nd. Citigroup lowered their price target on Hartford Financial Services Group from $59.00 to $55.00 and set a hold rating for the company in a report on Tuesday, April 10th. Evercore ISI assumed coverage on Hartford Financial Services Group in a report on Thursday, June 7th. They issued an inline rating and a $57.00 price target for the company. Finally, TheStreet downgraded Hartford Financial Services Group from a b- rating to a c+ rating in a report on Friday, April 6th. Five analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and nine have issued a buy rating to the company. The company has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $59.15.

Shares of Hartford Financial Services Group stock opened at $51.70 on Monday. Hartford Financial Services Group has a one year low of $49.67 and a one year high of $59.20. The stock has a market cap of $18.47 billion, a PE ratio of 18.87, a P/E/G ratio of 1.18 and a beta of 0.94. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.36, a current ratio of 0.27 and a quick ratio of 0.27.

Hartford Financial Services Group (NYSE:HIG) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, April 26th. The insurance provider reported $1.27 EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.07 by $0.20. Hartford Financial Services Group had a positive return on equity of 8.93% and a negative net margin of 15.59%. The business had revenue of $4.69 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $4.62 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $0.76 earnings per share. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 12.5% on a year-over-year basis. sell-side analysts predict that Hartford Financial Services Group will post 4.61 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, July 2nd. Shareholders of record on Friday, June 1st were paid a $0.25 dividend. This represents a $1.00 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.93%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, May 31st. Hartford Financial Services Group’s dividend payout ratio is currently 36.50%.

In other Hartford Financial Services Group news, insider Brion S. Johnson sold 11,568 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, April 30th. The stock was sold at an average price of $54.75, for a total value of $633,348.00. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, EVP David C. Robinson sold 682 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, April 30th. The shares were sold at an average price of $54.94, for a total value of $37,469.08. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now owns 16,942 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $930,793.48. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders sold 61,005 shares of company stock valued at $3,266,719. 1.50% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of HIG. Delpha Capital Management LLC purchased a new stake in Hartford Financial Services Group in the fourth quarter valued at approximately $157,000. Focused Wealth Management Inc purchased a new stake in Hartford Financial Services Group in the fourth quarter valued at approximately $189,000. Weil Company Inc. purchased a new stake in Hartford Financial Services Group in the fourth quarter valued at approximately $201,000. United Capital Financial Advisers LLC purchased a new stake in Hartford Financial Services Group in the first quarter valued at approximately $224,000. Finally, MML Investors Services LLC lifted its stake in Hartford Financial Services Group by 34.0% in the fourth quarter. MML Investors Services LLC now owns 5,347 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $301,000 after buying an additional 1,356 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 88.83% of the company’s stock.

About Hartford Financial Services Group

The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc, through its subsidiaries, provides insurance and financial services to individual and business customers in the United States. It operates through five segments: Commercial Lines, Personal Lines, Property & Casualty Other Operations, Group Benefits, and Mutual Funds.

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Analyst Recommendations for Hartford Financial Services Group (NYSE:HIG)

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