Amerisafe, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMSF) Short Interest Up 6.8% in December

Amerisafe, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMSF) was the target of a large increase in short interest in December. As of December 31st, there was short interest totalling 1,100,000 shares, an increase of 6.8% from the December 15th total of 1,030,000 shares. Based on an average trading volume of 86,800 shares, the short-interest ratio is currently 12.7 days. Approximately 5.8% of the company’s stock are sold short.

In other news, CEO G. Janelle Frost sold 1,625 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, November 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $70.02, for a total transaction of $113,782.50. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 58,873 shares in the company, valued at approximately $4,122,287.46. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, Director Randy Roach sold 500 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, November 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $70.05, for a total transaction of $35,025.00. Following the transaction, the director now owns 8,737 shares in the company, valued at $612,026.85. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 1.70% of the company’s stock.

Large investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Nisa Investment Advisors LLC lifted its position in Amerisafe by 1.6% during the 3rd quarter. Nisa Investment Advisors LLC now owns 10,160 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $672,000 after acquiring an additional 160 shares during the last quarter. SG Americas Securities LLC lifted its position in Amerisafe by 9.3% during the 3rd quarter. SG Americas Securities LLC now owns 2,229 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $147,000 after acquiring an additional 190 shares during the last quarter. California State Teachers Retirement System lifted its position in Amerisafe by 1.1% during the 3rd quarter. California State Teachers Retirement System now owns 29,780 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $1,969,000 after acquiring an additional 314 shares during the last quarter. CWM LLC acquired a new position in Amerisafe during the 3rd quarter worth $25,000. Finally, Alberta Investment Management Corp lifted its position in Amerisafe by 6.3% during the 3rd quarter. Alberta Investment Management Corp now owns 6,800 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $450,000 after acquiring an additional 400 shares during the last quarter.

NASDAQ:AMSF traded up $1.16 during trading hours on Thursday, reaching $67.43. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 2,020 shares, compared to its average volume of 75,293. The company has a market cap of $1.26 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 17.40 and a beta of 0.48. Amerisafe has a one year low of $53.43 and a one year high of $71.99. The business’s 50-day moving average is $66.29 and its 200-day moving average is $66.24.

Amerisafe (NASDAQ:AMSF) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, October 31st. The insurance provider reported $1.09 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.77 by $0.32. The firm had revenue of $91.13 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $90.48 million. Amerisafe had a net margin of 20.77% and a return on equity of 17.50%. Sell-side analysts forecast that Amerisafe will post 3.7 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, December 27th. Investors of record on Friday, December 13th were issued a $0.25 dividend. This represents a $1.00 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.48%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, December 12th. Amerisafe’s dividend payout ratio is presently 25.91%.

A number of equities research analysts recently issued reports on the stock. BidaskClub cut shares of Amerisafe from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Saturday, January 11th. B. Riley upped their price objective on shares of Amerisafe from $75.00 to $81.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, November 22nd. Finally, ValuEngine cut shares of Amerisafe from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Monday, November 4th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have assigned a hold rating and one has assigned a buy rating to the company. Amerisafe has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $76.00.

About Amerisafe

AMERISAFE, Inc, an insurance holding company, underwrites workers' compensation insurance in the United States. Its workers' compensation insurance policies provide benefits to injured employees for temporary or permanent disability, death, and medical and hospital expenses. The company provides workers' compensation insurance for small to mid-sized employers engaged in hazardous industries, principally construction, trucking, logging and lumber, manufacturing, agriculture, maritime, and oil and gas.

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