GSA Capital Partners LLP trimmed its position in United Fire Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:UFCS) by 81.1% during the third quarter, according to the company in its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The firm owned 5,805 shares of the insurance provider’s stock after selling 24,873 shares during the quarter. GSA Capital Partners LLP’s holdings in United Fire Group were worth $266,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.
Several other institutional investors have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in UFCS. Russell Investments Group Ltd. raised its holdings in shares of United Fire Group by 3.2% in the 2nd quarter. Russell Investments Group Ltd. now owns 16,665 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $734,000 after purchasing an additional 520 shares during the period. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. raised its holdings in shares of United Fire Group by 0.9% in the 2nd quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 94,992 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $4,186,000 after purchasing an additional 807 shares during the period. Rhumbline Advisers raised its holdings in shares of United Fire Group by 0.6% in the 2nd quarter. Rhumbline Advisers now owns 44,878 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $1,977,000 after purchasing an additional 273 shares during the period. Legal & General Group Plc raised its holdings in shares of United Fire Group by 8.0% in the 2nd quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 40,726 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $1,795,000 after purchasing an additional 3,022 shares during the period. Finally, BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA raised its holdings in shares of United Fire Group by 62.3% in the 2nd quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA now owns 7,456 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $329,000 after purchasing an additional 2,862 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 58.35% of the company’s stock.
A number of research firms have recently commented on UFCS. BidaskClub downgraded United Fire Group from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Tuesday, December 12th. Sandler O’Neill upgraded United Fire Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and raised their target price for the company from $46.00 to $47.00 in a report on Friday, September 22nd.
United Fire Group (NASDAQ:UFCS) last announced its earnings results on Wednesday, November 8th. The insurance provider reported ($0.73) EPS for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.14 by ($0.87). The company had revenue of $269.55 million for the quarter. United Fire Group had a net margin of 1.49% and a return on equity of 1.32%.
The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, December 15th. Investors of record on Friday, December 1st were issued a dividend of $0.28 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, November 30th. This represents a $1.12 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.58%. United Fire Group’s payout ratio is currently 177.78%.
United Fire Group announced that its Board of Directors has approved a stock repurchase plan on Wednesday, November 8th that authorizes the company to buyback 2,240,000 outstanding shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the insurance provider to purchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback plans are generally an indication that the company’s board believes its stock is undervalued.
In related news, VP Neal R. Scharmer sold 2,537 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, November 22nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $47.97, for a total transaction of $121,699.89. Following the sale, the vice president now directly owns 17,473 shares in the company, valued at approximately $838,179.81. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, COO Michael J. Sheeley sold 3,850 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, November 21st. The shares were sold at an average price of $48.04, for a total value of $184,954.00. Following the sale, the chief operating officer now owns 9,529 shares in the company, valued at $457,773.16. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders have sold 11,481 shares of company stock worth $548,710. Company insiders own 5.83% of the company’s stock.
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United Fire Group Profile
United Fire Group, Inc, formerly United Fire & Casualty Company, is engaged in the business of writing property and casualty insurance and life insurance and selling annuities. The Company operates in two segments: property and casualty insurance, and life insurance. The Company’s property and casualty insurance segment consists of commercial lines insurance, including surety bonds, personal lines insurance and assumed insurance.
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