AmTrust Financial Services (AFSI) Downgraded by Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of AmTrust Financial Services (NASDAQ:AFSI) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report released on Monday.

According to Zacks, “AmTrust Financial’s leadership position in commercial small business, expansion of other segments and an impressive inorganic growth story poise it well for growth. The company also aims to build an investment portfolio that returns in line with the sector. The slow but improving rate environment also raises optimism. Plus, a strong balance sheet facilitates growth initiatives and effective capital deployment. The company also witnessed the Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2018 moved 5.2% north over the last 60 days. However, a high level of debt increases interest burden and escalates expenses, thereby hurting margin. Exposure to cat environment induced volatility in underwriting results. Shares of AmTrust Financial have underperformed the industry in a year's time.”

Other equities analysts also recently issued reports about the stock. SunTrust Banks reaffirmed a buy rating and set a $16.00 price objective on shares of AmTrust Financial Services in a report on Friday, November 10th. ValuEngine downgraded shares of AmTrust Financial Services from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report on Friday, February 2nd. BidaskClub raised shares of AmTrust Financial Services from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report on Wednesday, January 3rd. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reissued a hold rating and set a $10.00 price target on shares of AmTrust Financial Services in a report on Wednesday, December 6th. Finally, JMP Securities downgraded shares of AmTrust Financial Services from an outperform rating to a market perform rating in a report on Monday, November 13th. Six analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock has an average rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $15.14.

AmTrust Financial Services (AFSI) opened at $13.34 on Monday. The company has a market cap of $2,610.00, a PE ratio of -41.69 and a beta of 1.28. AmTrust Financial Services has a 1-year low of $8.80 and a 1-year high of $27.91. The company has a current ratio of 0.53, a quick ratio of 0.53 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.46.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, April 16th. Investors of record on Monday, April 2nd will be issued a dividend of $0.17 per share. This represents a $0.68 annualized dividend and a yield of 5.10%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, March 29th. AmTrust Financial Services’s dividend payout ratio is currently -212.50%.

A number of hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in AFSI. Alliancebernstein L.P. lifted its holdings in AmTrust Financial Services by 156.2% during the 2nd quarter. Alliancebernstein L.P. now owns 121,270 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $1,836,000 after purchasing an additional 73,935 shares during the last quarter. Nationwide Fund Advisors lifted its holdings in AmTrust Financial Services by 50.7% during the 2nd quarter. Nationwide Fund Advisors now owns 52,054 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $788,000 after purchasing an additional 17,504 shares during the last quarter. Northern Trust Corp lifted its holdings in AmTrust Financial Services by 93.7% during the 2nd quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 1,304,835 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $19,755,000 after purchasing an additional 631,314 shares during the last quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System raised its stake in shares of AmTrust Financial Services by 2.9% in the second quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 345,660 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $5,233,000 after acquiring an additional 9,700 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC raised its stake in shares of AmTrust Financial Services by 8.7% in the second quarter. Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC now owns 101,638 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $1,539,000 after acquiring an additional 8,107 shares during the last quarter. 33.59% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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About AmTrust Financial Services

Amtrust Financial Services, Inc (AmTrust) is an insurance holding company. The Company, through its subsidiaries, provides specialty property and casualty insurance focusing on workers’ compensation and commercial package coverage for small business, specialty risk and extended warranty coverage, and property and casualty coverage for middle market business.

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