State Auto Financial Corp. (NASDAQ:STFC) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a report released on Saturday.

According to Zacks, “State Auto Financial Corporation is an insurance holding company, which engages, through its subsidiaries, primarily in the property and casualty insurance business. The company’s principal subsidiary is State Auto Property and Casualty Insurance Company. State Auto P&C is a regional insurer engaged primarily in writing personal and commercial automobile, homeowners, commercial multi-peril, workers’ compensation and fire insurance. “

Separately, TheStreet raised shares of State Auto Financial Corp. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, July 19th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have issued a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $26.00.

State Auto Financial Corp. (NASDAQ:STFC) opened at 23.18 on Friday. State Auto Financial Corp. has a 52 week low of $17.84 and a 52 week high of $25.69. The company has a 50 day moving average of $23.33 and a 200 day moving average of $22.04. The company has a market capitalization of $966.05 million, a price-to-earnings ratio of 437.36 and a beta of 0.70.

State Auto Financial Corp. (NASDAQ:STFC) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, August 4th. The company reported $0.59 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.08 by $0.51. State Auto Financial Corp. had a net margin of 0.16% and a negative return on equity of 1.42%. The business had revenue of $345.60 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $332.60 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business posted $0.06 earnings per share. The business’s revenue was up 1.9% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities analysts forecast that State Auto Financial Corp. will post $0.17 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, September 30th. Investors of record on Wednesday, September 14th were paid a $0.10 dividend. This represents a $0.40 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.73%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Monday, September 12th. State Auto Financial Corp.’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 800.00%.

In other news, insider Kim Burton Garland bought 6,356 shares of State Auto Financial Corp. stock in a transaction on Friday, September 2nd. The stock was acquired at an average cost of $23.63 per share, for a total transaction of $150,192.28. The purchase was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. 1.56% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

A number of institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Boston Partners purchased a new position in shares of State Auto Financial Corp. during the second quarter worth approximately $2,299,000. Prudential Financial Inc. increased its position in shares of State Auto Financial Corp. by 1.2% in the first quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. now owns 112,069 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,472,000 after buying an additional 1,300 shares in the last quarter. Strs Ohio increased its position in shares of State Auto Financial Corp. by 8.5% in the second quarter. Strs Ohio now owns 25,600 shares of the company’s stock worth $560,000 after buying an additional 2,000 shares in the last quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp increased its position in shares of State Auto Financial Corp. by 2.1% in the second quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 124,000 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,717,000 after buying an additional 2,497 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Deprince Race & Zollo Inc. purchased a new position in shares of State Auto Financial Corp. during the second quarter worth approximately $510,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 30.34% of the company’s stock.

About State Auto Financial Corp.

State Auto Financial Corporation (State Auto Financial) is a property and casualty insurance holding company. The Company is engaged in writing personal, business and specialty insurance. Its segments include personal insurance, business insurance, specialty insurance and investment operations. Its personal insurance, business insurance and specialty insurance are known as insurance segments of the Company.

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