Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of American Financial Group, Inc. (NYSE:AFG) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note published on Tuesday.

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.”

AFG has been the topic of a number of other reports. Buckingham Research assumed coverage on American Financial Group in a report on Monday. They set a neutral rating and a $103.00 target price on the stock. BidaskClub raised American Financial Group from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report on Friday, July 7th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have assigned a hold rating and one has issued a buy rating to the company. American Financial Group has a consensus rating of Hold and an average price target of $98.33.

Shares of American Financial Group (AFG) opened at 100.31 on Tuesday. American Financial Group has a 52 week low of $73.38 and a 52 week high of $105.58. The firm has a market capitalization of $8.83 billion, a PE ratio of 11.31 and a beta of 0.84. The company has a 50-day moving average of $102.03 and a 200-day moving average of $98.67.

American Financial Group (NYSE:AFG) last released its earnings results on Tuesday, August 1st. The insurance provider reported $1.61 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.30 by $0.31. The firm had revenue of $1.07 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.12 billion. American Financial Group had a return on equity of 11.66% and a net margin of 11.89%. American Financial Group’s revenue was up 3.7% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the company earned $1.28 earnings per share. On average, equities analysts forecast that American Financial Group will post $6.77 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

TRADEMARK VIOLATION NOTICE: This news story was reported by The Cerbat Gem and is the property of of The Cerbat Gem. If you are accessing this news story on another domain, it was stolen and republished in violation of international copyright and trademark laws. The original version of this news story can be read at https://www.thecerbatgem.com/2017/09/13/american-financial-group-inc-afg-downgraded-to-hold-at-zacks-investment-research.html.

In related news, insider John B. Berding sold 12,792 shares of American Financial Group stock in a transaction dated Thursday, June 15th. The stock was sold at an average price of $101.13, for a total value of $1,293,654.96. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 66,057 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $6,680,344.41. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, insider Michelle A. Gillis sold 2,051 shares of American Financial Group stock in a transaction dated Thursday, August 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $104.88, for a total value of $215,108.88. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 17,939 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,881,442.32. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 143,320 shares of company stock worth $14,690,115 in the last three months. 13.70% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Acrospire Investment Management LLC boosted its position in American Financial Group by 153.6% during the 2nd quarter. Acrospire Investment Management LLC now owns 1,321 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $131,000 after acquiring an additional 800 shares during the period. Bessemer Group Inc. acquired a new stake in American Financial Group during the 2nd quarter worth about $155,000. Quantbot Technologies LP acquired a new stake in American Financial Group during the 1st quarter worth about $154,000. TLP Group LLC acquired a new stake in American Financial Group during the 2nd quarter worth about $194,000. Finally, ETRADE Capital Management LLC acquired a new stake in American Financial Group during the 2nd quarter worth about $216,000. 62.66% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About American Financial Group

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.

Receive News & Stock Ratings for American Financial Group Inc. Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for American Financial Group Inc. and related stocks with our FREE daily email newsletter.