Cincinnati Financial (CINF) Rating Lowered to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

Cincinnati Financial (NASDAQ:CINF) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued to investors on Thursday.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Cincinnati Financial have outperformed the industry in a year. The company’s low leverage, ample capital, consistent cash flow generation, favorable reserve release, share repurchases and steady dividend hikes should drive growth. Management is appointing agencies and expanding product offerings to ramp up its business profile. Net investment income growth is expected in the near term, driven by rising interest rates. The company has replaced its existing catastrophe bond program with a new collateralized reinsurance to mitigate the loss. However, exposure to cat loss and a persistent turmoil in group benefits associated with the ACA are headwinds. Higher expenses might also weigh on the desired margin expansion. A Zacks Rank #3 and Earnings ESP of 0.00% makes surprise prediction inconclusive as it reports fourth quarter results on Feb 6.”

Several other brokerages have also issued reports on CINF. BidaskClub raised Cincinnati Financial from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Saturday, September 22nd. ValuEngine raised Cincinnati Financial from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, October 9th. Finally, Buckingham Research started coverage on Cincinnati Financial in a research note on Friday, December 14th. They issued a “neutral” rating and a $80.00 target price for the company. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have given a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $78.33.

Shares of NASDAQ CINF traded down $0.25 during midday trading on Thursday, hitting $77.05. 421,093 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 547,075. Cincinnati Financial has a 12-month low of $66.33 and a 12-month high of $82.86. The company has a current ratio of 0.27, a quick ratio of 0.27 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.10. The firm has a market capitalization of $12.41 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 28.12 and a beta of 0.68.

Cincinnati Financial (NASDAQ:CINF) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, October 25th. The insurance provider reported $0.84 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.75 by $0.09. The company had revenue of $1.46 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.49 billion. Cincinnati Financial had a return on equity of 6.70% and a net margin of 22.61%. On average, analysts predict that Cincinnati Financial will post 3.08 earnings per share for the current year.

Several large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. State of Alaska Department of Revenue boosted its stake in shares of Cincinnati Financial by 9.9% during the fourth quarter. State of Alaska Department of Revenue now owns 42,211 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $3,267,000 after purchasing an additional 3,799 shares during the period. Moody National Bank Trust Division boosted its stake in shares of Cincinnati Financial by 1.1% during the fourth quarter. Moody National Bank Trust Division now owns 14,664 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $1,135,000 after purchasing an additional 164 shares during the period. Great Lakes Advisors LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Cincinnati Financial during the third quarter valued at approximately $230,000. Vanguard Group Inc boosted its stake in shares of Cincinnati Financial by 1.2% during the third quarter. Vanguard Group Inc now owns 17,645,128 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $1,355,324,000 after purchasing an additional 215,956 shares during the period. Finally, WealthPLAN Partners LLC boosted its stake in shares of Cincinnati Financial by 5.9% during the third quarter. WealthPLAN Partners LLC now owns 48,827 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $3,896,000 after purchasing an additional 2,729 shares during the period. 63.16% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About Cincinnati Financial

Cincinnati Financial Corporation provides property casualty insurance products in the United States. The company operates in five segments: Commercial Lines Insurance, Personal Lines Insurance, Excess and Surplus Lines Insurance, Life Insurance, and Investments. The Commercial Lines Insurance segment provides coverage for commercial casualty, commercial property, commercial auto, and workers' compensation.

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