AmTrust Financial Services, Inc. (AFSI) Upgraded at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of AmTrust Financial Services, Inc. (NASDAQ:AFSI) from a strong sell rating to a hold rating in a research note released on Tuesday morning.

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. However, being a property and casualty insurer, the company remains exposed to cat environment, including volatility in underwriting results. Also, a high level of debt increases interest burden and escalates expenses, hurting margin. Shares of AmTrust Financial have underperformed the industry year to date. Moreover, the company did not witness any estimate revisions for its 2017 and 2018 estimates over the last 60 days.”

A number of other analysts also recently weighed in on the stock. ValuEngine downgraded shares of AmTrust Financial Services from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report on Friday, September 1st. BidaskClub downgraded shares of AmTrust Financial Services from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report on Friday, August 11th. TheStreet downgraded shares of AmTrust Financial Services from a c rating to a d rating in a report on Wednesday, July 19th. Finally, JMP Securities began coverage on shares of AmTrust Financial Services in a report on Friday, July 7th. They issued an outperform rating and a $18.00 target price on the stock. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have given a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. AmTrust Financial Services presently has an average rating of Hold and an average price target of $19.50.

AmTrust Financial Services (NASDAQ:AFSI) traded up 0.96% during mid-day trading on Tuesday, reaching $13.71. 76,719 shares of the company’s stock traded hands. The firm has a market cap of $2.68 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 13.32 and a beta of 1.24. The firm’s 50-day moving average price is $13.03 and its 200 day moving average price is $14.53. AmTrust Financial Services has a one year low of $11.36 and a one year high of $28.48.

AmTrust Financial Services (NASDAQ:AFSI) last posted its earnings results on Tuesday, August 8th. The insurance provider reported $0.40 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.36 by $0.04. AmTrust Financial Services had a net margin of 5.14% and a return on equity of 14.26%. The firm had revenue of $1.37 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.38 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $0.77 EPS. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 8.2% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities analysts forecast that AmTrust Financial Services will post $1.31 EPS for the current year.

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The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, October 16th. Investors of record on Monday, October 2nd will be paid a dividend of $0.17 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, September 29th. This represents a $0.68 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 5.01%. AmTrust Financial Services’s dividend payout ratio is presently 51.13%.

Several hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Raymond James Financial Services Advisors Inc. boosted its stake in shares of AmTrust Financial Services by 4.0% during the 2nd quarter. Raymond James Financial Services Advisors Inc. now owns 13,181 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $200,000 after purchasing an additional 506 shares during the period. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company boosted its stake in shares of AmTrust Financial Services by 1,273.6% during the 2nd quarter. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company now owns 69,324 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $1,050,000 after purchasing an additional 64,277 shares during the period. State Street Corp boosted its stake in shares of AmTrust Financial Services by 54.1% during the 2nd quarter. State Street Corp now owns 3,292,917 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $49,854,000 after purchasing an additional 1,156,431 shares during the period. Gotham Asset Management LLC boosted its stake in shares of AmTrust Financial Services by 57.4% during the 2nd quarter. Gotham Asset Management LLC now owns 32,471 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $492,000 after purchasing an additional 11,845 shares during the period. Finally, S&T Bank PA boosted its stake in shares of AmTrust Financial Services by 2.0% during the 2nd quarter. S&T Bank PA now owns 454,559 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $6,881,000 after purchasing an additional 8,761 shares during the period. 36.82% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

AmTrust Financial Services Company Profile

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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