American Financial Group Inc (NYSE:AFG) Sees Significant Increase in Short Interest

American Financial Group Inc (NYSE:AFG) saw a significant growth in short interest in the month of August. As of August 31st, there was short interest totalling 890,100 shares, a growth of 22.0% from the July 31st total of 729,700 shares. Based on an average daily trading volume, of 362,600 shares, the short-interest ratio is presently 2.5 days. Approximately 1.2% of the company’s stock are short sold.

AFG stock traded up $0.25 during trading on Friday, reaching $106.56. 492,997 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 334,713. The company has a current ratio of 0.15, a quick ratio of 0.15 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.23. The stock has a 50 day simple moving average of $101.69 and a 200-day simple moving average of $100.72. The company has a market capitalization of $9.58 billion, a P/E ratio of 12.69, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.97 and a beta of 0.84. American Financial Group has a twelve month low of $84.18 and a twelve month high of $114.65.

American Financial Group (NYSE:AFG) last posted its earnings results on Tuesday, August 6th. The insurance provider reported $2.12 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $2.01 by $0.11. American Financial Group had a net margin of 9.29% and a return on equity of 13.39%. The company had revenue of $1.20 billion during the quarter. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $2.04 EPS. The business’s revenue was up 3.4% on a year-over-year basis. Equities analysts predict that American Financial Group will post 8.65 EPS for the current year.

In other American Financial Group news, Director James E. Evans sold 2,365 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, August 30th. The stock was sold at an average price of $101.27, for a total transaction of $239,503.55. Following the transaction, the director now owns 130,423 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $13,207,937.21. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, Director William W. Verity sold 1,200 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, June 18th. The stock was sold at an average price of $104.07, for a total value of $124,884.00. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 6,678 shares in the company, valued at approximately $694,979.46. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 230,102 shares of company stock valued at $23,931,740 in the last ninety days. Company insiders own 11.90% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the business. BlackRock Inc. grew its holdings in shares of American Financial Group by 2.6% in the 2nd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 8,588,773 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $880,093,000 after buying an additional 219,643 shares during the period. Victory Capital Management Inc. boosted its stake in shares of American Financial Group by 14.2% during the 2nd quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 2,810,565 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $287,998,000 after buying an additional 349,031 shares during the last quarter. LSV Asset Management boosted its stake in shares of American Financial Group by 6.5% during the 2nd quarter. LSV Asset Management now owns 1,493,063 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $152,994,000 after buying an additional 91,200 shares during the last quarter. Invesco Ltd. boosted its stake in shares of American Financial Group by 8.3% during the 2nd quarter. Invesco Ltd. now owns 1,251,637 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $128,256,000 after buying an additional 96,098 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Bank of New York Mellon Corp raised its holdings in shares of American Financial Group by 2.9% in the 2nd quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 985,197 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $100,953,000 after purchasing an additional 27,891 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 64.19% of the company’s stock.

AFG has been the topic of several analyst reports. ValuEngine upgraded American Financial Group from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, May 29th. Zacks Investment Research raised American Financial Group from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $108.00 target price for the company in a research report on Wednesday, August 14th. Finally, Buckingham Research upgraded American Financial Group from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $120.00 price objective for the company in a report on Thursday, June 13th.

About American Financial Group

American Financial Group, Inc, an insurance holding company, provides property and casualty insurance products in the United States. The company operates through three segments: Property and Casualty Insurance, Annuity, and Other. It offers property and transportation insurance products, such as physical damage and liability coverage for buses, trucks and recreational vehicles, inland and ocean marine, agricultural-related products, and other property; specialty casualty insurance, including primarily excess and surplus, general liability, executive liability, professional liability, umbrella and excess liability, and specialty coverage in targeted markets, as well as customized programs for small to mid-sized businesses and workers' compensation insurance; and specialty financial insurance products comprising risk management insurance programs for leasing and financing institutions, surety and fidelity products, and trade credit insurance.

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