Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. (The) (HIG) Lifted to Buy at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. (The) (NYSE:HIG) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report released on Thursday. They currently have $60.00 price target on the insurance provider’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Year to date,  shares of Hartford Financial have outperformed the industry. The company is well poised for long-term growth, given its strong foothold in the property and casualty market. The recent interest rate hikes have significantly favored the company’s investment results, boosting its top line in turn. Moreover, the company has taken up several action plans to improve its risk profile which are likely to drive the company's underwriting results going forward. Efficient capital management also helps it in enhancing shareholders' value through several capital deployment activities. The company has seen the Zacks Consensus Estimates for 2017 and 2018 earnings being revised upward in last 60 days.”

HIG has been the topic of several other reports. BidaskClub downgraded shares of Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. (The) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report on Friday, August 25th. Deutsche Bank AG reissued a buy rating and set a $61.00 target price (up from $60.00) on shares of Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. (The) in a research report on Tuesday, August 1st. ValuEngine raised shares of Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. (The) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report on Friday, June 2nd. Credit Suisse Group set a $51.00 target price on shares of Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. (The) and gave the stock a hold rating in a research report on Tuesday, June 6th. Finally, Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reissued a buy rating and set a $60.00 target price on shares of Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. (The) in a research report on Thursday, August 31st. Five research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and nine have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of Buy and an average price target of $56.91.

Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. (NYSE HIG) opened at 53.71 on Thursday. Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. has a 52 week low of $41.79 and a 52 week high of $57.16. The firm’s 50 day moving average price is $54.86 and its 200-day moving average price is $51.19. The firm has a market cap of $19.57 billion, a PE ratio of 29.48 and a beta of 0.92.

Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. (The) (NYSE:HIG) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, July 27th. The insurance provider reported $1.04 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.94 by $0.10. The firm had revenue of $4.77 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $4.30 billion. Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. (The) had a net margin of 3.73% and a return on equity of 9.13%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 2.0% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $0.31 earnings per share. On average, analysts forecast that Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. will post $4.23 EPS for the current year.

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The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, October 2nd. Investors of record on Friday, September 1st will be paid a $0.23 dividend. This represents a $0.92 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.71%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, August 30th. Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. (The)’s payout ratio is presently 51.40%.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in HIG. Janus Henderson Group PLC lifted its stake in shares of Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. (The) by 5,984.5% in the second quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 3,181,908 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $167,272,000 after buying an additional 3,129,613 shares during the period. JPMorgan Chase & Co. lifted its stake in shares of Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. (The) by 10.0% in the second quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 30,070,898 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $1,580,827,000 after buying an additional 2,730,796 shares during the period. FMR LLC lifted its stake in shares of Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. (The) by 22.2% in the second quarter. FMR LLC now owns 7,079,010 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $372,144,000 after buying an additional 1,284,664 shares during the period. Vanguard Group Inc. lifted its stake in shares of Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. (The) by 3.3% in the first quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 36,359,323 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $1,747,791,000 after buying an additional 1,177,520 shares during the period. Finally, Point72 Asset Management L.P. bought a new stake in shares of Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. (The) in the first quarter valued at about $42,367,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 88.25% of the company’s stock.

Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. (The) Company Profile

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