Progressive Corporation (The) (NYSE:PGR)’s share price gapped up prior to trading on Thursday after Zacks Investment Research upgraded the stock from a hold rating to a buy rating. The stock had previously closed at $43.39, but opened at $44.86. Zacks Investment Research now has a $53.00 price target on the stock. Progressive Corporation (The) shares last traded at $45.20, with a volume of 4,589,801 shares.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Progressive have outperformed the industry year to date. Progressive strives to become a one-stop insurance destination by catering to customers opting for a combination of home and auto.  Its property business has also gained pace. Policies in force and retention ratio will continue to remain healthy. Focus on paying back its shareholders via dividends as well as share repurchases that lower share count and boosts the bottom line. However, the company’s growth could be challenged by intense competition. Exposure to catastrophe events remains headwinds. With respect to quarterly results, Progressive’s bottom line missed expectations, but the same improved year over year on higher premiums.”

A number of other brokerages have also recently weighed in on PGR. UBS AG raised Progressive Corporation (The) from an “outperform” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, July 13th. FBR & Co lifted their price target on Progressive Corporation (The) from $35.00 to $36.00 and gave the stock a “mkt perform” rating in a research note on Wednesday, May 10th. Raymond James Financial, Inc. raised Progressive Corporation (The) from an “outperform” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and lifted their price target for the stock from $45.00 to $52.00 in a research note on Thursday, July 13th. Citigroup Inc. lifted their price target on Progressive Corporation (The) from $45.00 to $46.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research note on Thursday, July 13th. Finally, Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $48.00 target price on shares of Progressive Corporation (The) in a research note on Thursday, May 18th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have given a hold rating, seven have assigned a buy rating and two have assigned a strong buy rating to the company. The company has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $44.79.

In other news, insider Steven Broz sold 1,100 shares of Progressive Corporation (The) stock in a transaction dated Monday, May 22nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $41.55, for a total transaction of $45,705.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 8,955 shares in the company, valued at approximately $372,080.25. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, Director Jeffrey D. Kelly sold 20,000 shares of Progressive Corporation (The) stock in a transaction dated Monday, June 26th. The shares were sold at an average price of $44.52, for a total value of $890,400.00. Following the sale, the director now owns 59,963 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,669,552.76. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders have sold 71,100 shares of company stock valued at $3,168,605. 0.56% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Nisa Investment Advisors LLC boosted its stake in Progressive Corporation (The) by 3.1% in the first quarter. Nisa Investment Advisors LLC now owns 215,660 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $8,450,000 after buying an additional 6,580 shares in the last quarter. Patten & Patten Inc. TN purchased a new stake in Progressive Corporation (The) during the first quarter worth about $2,880,000. DnB Asset Management AS boosted its stake in Progressive Corporation (The) by 15.9% in the first quarter. DnB Asset Management AS now owns 67,025 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $2,626,000 after buying an additional 9,200 shares in the last quarter. Reliance Trust Co. of Delaware boosted its stake in Progressive Corporation (The) by 19.1% in the first quarter. Reliance Trust Co. of Delaware now owns 12,808 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $502,000 after buying an additional 2,052 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Wealth Enhancement Advisory Services LLC purchased a new stake in Progressive Corporation (The) during the first quarter worth about $1,708,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 79.54% of the company’s stock.

The stock has a market cap of $27.70 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 20.29 and a beta of 0.86. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $45.22 and its 200-day moving average price is $41.02.

Progressive Corporation (The) (NYSE:PGR) last released its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, July 18th. The insurance provider reported $0.59 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.60 by $0.01. The firm had revenue of $6.75 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $6.78 billion. Progressive Corporation (The) had a return on equity of 15.62% and a net margin of 5.50%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 13.7% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the business posted $0.33 earnings per share. On average, equities analysts predict that Progressive Corporation will post $2.43 EPS for the current year.

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Progressive Corporation (The) Company Profile

The Progressive Corporation is an insurance holding company. The Company’s insurance subsidiaries and affiliates provide personal and commercial automobile and property insurance, other specialty property-casualty insurance and related services. The Company operates through the Personal Lines, Commercial Lines and Property segments.

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