Zacks Investment Research cut shares of American Financial Group, Inc. (NYSE:AFG) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report report published on Wednesday morning.

According to Zacks, “Shares of American Financial have outperformed the industry year to date. The company is well poised to benefit from impressive inorganic growth and restructuring initiatives. Better industry fundamentals, with strong pricing and a higher renewal ratio, should drive overall growth. Consistent price increase in property and casualty business, combined ratio that compares favorably with industry average, a strong balance sheet, low leverage cost, and disciplined capital management are positives. Based on strong operational performance, it raised core net operating earnings of $6.40–$6.90 per share in 2017. Estimates for 2017 and 2018 also moved north over the last 60 days.  However, American Financial’s exposure to cat loss is a risk to underwriting results. A still soft interest rate environment is expected to weigh on desired upside in investment results.”

Separately, BidaskClub upgraded shares of American Financial Group from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note on Saturday, June 17th.

Shares of American Financial Group (AFG) opened at 98.54 on Wednesday. American Financial Group has a 52 week low of $73.38 and a 52 week high of $105.58. The firm has a 50-day moving average of $102.04 and a 200 day moving average of $98.58. The company has a market cap of $8.67 billion, a P/E ratio of 11.11 and a beta of 0.84.

American Financial Group (NYSE:AFG) last released its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, August 1st. The insurance provider reported $1.61 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.30 by $0.31. The company had revenue of $1.07 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.12 billion. American Financial Group had a net margin of 11.89% and a return on equity of 11.66%. American Financial Group’s revenue for the quarter was up 3.7% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business posted $1.28 EPS. Equities analysts anticipate that American Financial Group will post $6.80 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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In other news, insider Michelle A. Gillis sold 2,051 shares of American Financial Group stock in a transaction on Thursday, August 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $104.88, for a total value of $215,108.88. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 17,939 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,881,442.32. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, CEO Carl H. Lindner III sold 56,353 shares of American Financial Group stock in a transaction on Tuesday, June 20th. The shares were sold at an average price of $102.17, for a total transaction of $5,757,586.01. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 143,320 shares of company stock valued at $14,690,115 in the last quarter. 14.90% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Acrospire Investment Management LLC increased its stake in shares of American Financial Group by 153.6% in the 2nd quarter. Acrospire Investment Management LLC now owns 1,321 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $131,000 after acquiring an additional 800 shares in the last quarter. Quantbot Technologies LP bought a new stake in shares of American Financial Group in the 1st quarter valued at $154,000. Bessemer Group Inc. bought a new stake in shares of American Financial Group in the 2nd quarter valued at $155,000. TLP Group LLC bought a new stake in shares of American Financial Group in the 2nd quarter valued at $194,000. Finally, Smith Moore & CO. bought a new stake in shares of American Financial Group in the 1st quarter valued at $202,000. Institutional investors own 62.66% of the company’s stock.

American Financial Group Company Profile

American Financial Group, Inc (AFG) is a holding company engaged primarily in property and casualty insurance businesses. The Company, through Great American Insurance Group, focuses on commercial products for businesses, and is engaged in the sale of fixed and fixed-indexed annuities in the retail, financial institutions and education markets.

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