National General Holdings Corp (NASDAQ:NGHC) reached a new 52-week high during mid-day trading on Wednesday following a better than expected earnings announcement. The stock traded as high as $28.56 and last traded at $28.01, with a volume of 24470 shares trading hands. The stock had previously closed at $25.03.
The insurance provider reported $0.65 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.40 by $0.25. National General had a net margin of 3.63% and a return on equity of 15.75%. The company had revenue of $1.13 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.11 billion. During the same period last year, the company posted $0.26 earnings per share. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 7.0% compared to the same quarter last year.
The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, January 15th. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, January 1st will be issued a $0.04 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Friday, December 28th. This represents a $0.16 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 0.58%. National General’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 14.68%.
A number of research analysts have issued reports on NGHC shares. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of National General from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $30.00 target price for the company in a report on Wednesday, September 26th. ValuEngine raised shares of National General from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday. Morgan Stanley increased their target price on shares of National General from $27.00 to $29.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a report on Tuesday, August 14th. Finally, BidaskClub raised shares of National General from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, September 25th. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and four have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $30.00.
In other news, COO Peter A. Rendall sold 6,195 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, August 13th. The shares were sold at an average price of $27.75, for a total transaction of $171,911.25. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief operating officer now directly owns 17 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $471.75. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Company insiders own 3.40% of the company’s stock.
Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the company. BlackRock Inc. increased its stake in shares of National General by 23.2% during the 2nd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 4,208,155 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $110,801,000 after purchasing an additional 793,507 shares in the last quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN increased its stake in shares of National General by 27.4% during the 2nd quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 3,390,890 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $89,281,000 after purchasing an additional 728,985 shares in the last quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP increased its stake in shares of National General by 14.0% during the 2nd quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 2,692,521 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $70,895,000 after purchasing an additional 330,210 shares in the last quarter. Boston Partners increased its stake in shares of National General by 2.9% during the 2nd quarter. Boston Partners now owns 1,863,301 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $49,060,000 after purchasing an additional 52,703 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Northern Trust Corp increased its stake in shares of National General by 13.7% during the 2nd quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 1,062,423 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $27,974,000 after purchasing an additional 127,984 shares in the last quarter. 48.48% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
The company has a market capitalization of $2.68 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 25.31 and a beta of 0.92.
National General Company Profile (NASDAQ:NGHC)
National General Holdings Corp., a specialty personal lines insurance holding company, provides various insurance products and services in the United States. The company operates in two segments, Property and Casualty, and Accident and Health. The Property and Casualty segment offers standard, preferred, and nonstandard automobile insurance products; and recreational vehicle (RV) insurance products that carry RV-specific endorsements comprising automatic personal effects coverage, optional replacement cost coverage, RV storage coverage, and full-time liability coverage.
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