Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Amerisafe (NASDAQ:AMSF) from a hold rating to a strong sell rating in a report published on Tuesday, March 6th.
According to Zacks, “Shares of Amerisafe have underperformed its industry in a year's time. A decrease in premium written due to stiff competition and pricing woes has been putting pressure on the company's top line. The stock has seen the Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings being revised 9.3% downward over the last 30 days. In the fourth quarter Amerisafe’s earnings per share of 69 cents missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 16.9%. Also, earnings slumped 33.7% year over year due to a decline in revenues. However, Amerisafe's efficient claims management, good underwriting results, favorable loss and frequency trends, prudent reserve analytics and improved operating leverage bode well.”
Several other analysts have also weighed in on the stock. Boenning Scattergood reaffirmed a hold rating on shares of Amerisafe in a report on Tuesday, February 27th. ValuEngine raised shares of Amerisafe from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report on Thursday, March 1st. BidaskClub lowered shares of Amerisafe from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report on Wednesday, January 10th. Finally, B. Riley reaffirmed a buy rating on shares of Amerisafe in a report on Monday, November 6th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, one has assigned a hold rating and four have given a buy rating to the company. Amerisafe presently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $66.00.
Shares of Amerisafe (AMSF) traded up $0.10 on Tuesday, reaching $56.50. 46,982 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 81,021. The company has a market capitalization of $1,093.17, a PE ratio of 23.50 and a beta of 0.86. Amerisafe has a 1 year low of $51.20 and a 1 year high of $67.82.
Amerisafe (NASDAQ:AMSF) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Monday, February 26th. The insurance provider reported $0.69 EPS for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.82 by ($0.13). The business had revenue of $94.94 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $92.71 million. Amerisafe had a return on equity of 12.69% and a net margin of 12.32%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was down 3.7% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $1.04 EPS. research analysts predict that Amerisafe will post 3.22 earnings per share for the current year.
The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, March 23rd. Stockholders of record on Friday, March 9th will be issued a dividend of $0.22 per share. This is a positive change from Amerisafe’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.20. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, March 8th. This represents a $0.88 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.56%. Amerisafe’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 36.67%.
In related news, CEO G. Janelle Frost sold 7,500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, March 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $55.53, for a total value of $416,475.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 69,322 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $3,849,450.66. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, EVP Kathryn Housh Shirley sold 691 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, March 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $55.52, for a total transaction of $38,364.32. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders have sold 10,432 shares of company stock valued at $578,872. Company insiders own 2.20% of the company’s stock.
A number of hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the business. Elkfork Partners LLC bought a new position in Amerisafe in the fourth quarter valued at approximately $162,000. Marco Investment Management LLC bought a new position in Amerisafe in the fourth quarter valued at approximately $206,000. MetLife Investment Advisors LLC bought a new position in Amerisafe in the fourth quarter valued at approximately $573,000. Millennium Management LLC boosted its position in shares of Amerisafe by 108.0% during the fourth quarter. Millennium Management LLC now owns 84,624 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $5,213,000 after purchasing an additional 43,937 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. boosted its position in shares of Amerisafe by 3.8% during the fourth quarter. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. now owns 615,865 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $37,937,000 after purchasing an additional 22,694 shares in the last quarter. 99.52% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
Amerisafe, Inc is an insurance holding company. The Company is engaged in providing workers’ compensation insurance focused on small to mid-sized employers engaged in hazardous industries, principally construction, trucking, logging and lumber, manufacturing, and agriculture. It is engaged in underwriting the workers’ compensation exposures inherent in these industries.
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