Hartford Financial Services Group (NYSE:HIG) Rating Increased to Buy at Zacks Investment Research

Hartford Financial Services Group (NYSE:HIG) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report released on Thursday, Zacks.com reports. The brokerage presently has a $64.00 target price on the insurance provider’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price objective points to a potential upside of 4.76% from the company’s current price.

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According to Zacks, “Hartford Financial’s third-quarter 2019 adjusted operating earnings of $1.50 per share beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 19% and improved 30.4% on higher revenues and Commercial Lines business. Its shares have outperformed its industry in a year's time. Its strategic divestitures pave the way for long-term growth. Its investment results and capital management are impressive. Its results have improved owing to a sturdy underwriting, strong investment performance and lower tax rates. The acquisition of Navigators will expand its Commercial Lines business by enhancing its product offerings and increasing geographical reach. Its decreasing debt level is also impressive. However, it is exposed to catastrophic loss, weighing down its margins. Softness in Personal Lines segment and escalating expenses are other concerns.”

Other analysts also recently issued research reports about the company. Barclays set a $70.00 price objective on Hartford Financial Services Group and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, August 12th. UBS Group boosted their target price on Hartford Financial Services Group from $61.00 to $65.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, July 10th. Buckingham Research boosted their target price on Hartford Financial Services Group from $60.00 to $63.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, July 19th. MKM Partners boosted their target price on Hartford Financial Services Group to $70.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Tuesday, November 5th. Finally, Evercore ISI raised Hartford Financial Services Group from an “in-line” rating to an “outperform” rating in a research report on Wednesday, October 16th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have issued a hold rating and twelve have given a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $63.92.

HIG traded up $0.09 on Thursday, hitting $61.09. 2,090,048 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 2,033,708. The company’s 50 day simple moving average is $58.92 and its 200-day simple moving average is $56.76. The firm has a market cap of $21.84 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 14.11, a P/E/G ratio of 1.18 and a beta of 0.62. Hartford Financial Services Group has a one year low of $40.54 and a one year high of $61.63. The company has a current ratio of 0.29, a quick ratio of 0.28 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.28.

Hartford Financial Services Group (NYSE:HIG) last issued its earnings results on Monday, November 4th. The insurance provider reported $1.50 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.24 by $0.26. The company had revenue of $5.35 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $5.22 billion. Hartford Financial Services Group had a return on equity of 12.69% and a net margin of 8.66%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 10.4% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $1.15 EPS. As a group, equities analysts anticipate that Hartford Financial Services Group will post 5.47 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In other news, EVP Brion S. Johnson sold 3,299 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, September 20th. The stock was sold at an average price of $60.79, for a total transaction of $200,546.21. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 23,649 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,437,622.71. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, EVP Robert W. Paiano sold 3,011 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, October 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $59.26, for a total value of $178,431.86. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 31,367 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,858,808.42. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders have sold 71,837 shares of company stock worth $4,273,875. Corporate insiders own 1.70% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Prime Capital Investment Advisors LLC purchased a new position in Hartford Financial Services Group during the 3rd quarter valued at $25,000. Venturi Wealth Management LLC purchased a new position in Hartford Financial Services Group during the 3rd quarter valued at $28,000. Virtus ETF Advisers LLC purchased a new position in Hartford Financial Services Group during the 2nd quarter valued at $26,000. NuWave Investment Management LLC boosted its holdings in Hartford Financial Services Group by 950.0% during the 2nd quarter. NuWave Investment Management LLC now owns 504 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $28,000 after acquiring an additional 456 shares during the period. Finally, Rational Advisors LLC boosted its holdings in Hartford Financial Services Group by 950.0% during the 2nd quarter. Rational Advisors LLC now owns 504 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $28,000 after acquiring an additional 456 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 91.62% of the company’s stock.

About Hartford Financial Services Group

The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc, through its subsidiaries, provides insurance and financial services to individual and business customers in the United States. Its Commercial Lines segment offers workers' compensation, property, automobile, marine, livestock, liability, and umbrella coverages; and customized insurance products and risk management services, including professional liability, bond, surety, and specialty casualty coverages.

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Analyst Recommendations for Hartford Financial Services Group (NYSE:HIG)

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