Loews (L) Upgraded to “Buy” at Zacks Investment Research

Loews (NYSE:L) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report issued on Friday. The brokerage currently has a $57.00 target price on the insurance provider’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price objective would indicate a potential upside of 12.38% from the company’s previous close.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Loews have outperformed the industry in a year. Loews Hotels remains on growth track as most properties witnessed a higher income. The Boardwalk unit is poised to capitalize on increasing exports of natural gas and pipeline exports to Mexico as well as industrial demand for natural gas and liquids. Addition of Consolidated Container will strengthen its network of manufacturing locations throughout the U.S. Market. With new drilling rigs that are contracted through 2019 and demand for oil growing, Loews remains optimistic over the medium and long term. However, weakening ultra-deepwater and deepwater markets might dampen Diamond Offshore results. The company witnessed its 2017 estimates moving north while the same for 2018 moved south in the last 60 days.”

Separately, ValuEngine cut shares of Loews from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, October 26th.

Shares of Loews (L) traded up $0.25 during trading on Friday, hitting $50.72. 1,159,700 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 1,125,600. The company has a current ratio of 0.35, a quick ratio of 0.35 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.46. Loews has a 12-month low of $45.01 and a 12-month high of $51.02. The stock has a market capitalization of $17,040.00, a PE ratio of 17.61 and a beta of 0.74.

Loews (NYSE:L) last issued its earnings results on Monday, October 30th. The insurance provider reported $0.46 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.02 by $0.44. Loews had a net margin of 7.04% and a return on equity of 4.08%. The firm had revenue of $3.52 billion during the quarter. During the same period last year, the business earned $0.89 EPS. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 7.1% on a year-over-year basis. analysts predict that Loews will post 2.8 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In related news, SVP Richard Waldo Scott sold 6,471 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Monday, November 13th. The shares were sold at an average price of $49.80, for a total transaction of $322,255.80. Following the sale, the senior vice president now owns 11,250 shares in the company, valued at $560,250. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, insider Jonathan M. Tisch sold 1,394,935 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, October 31st. The shares were sold at an average price of $48.40, for a total transaction of $67,514,854.00. Following the sale, the insider now owns 2,169,075 shares in the company, valued at approximately $104,983,230. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last 90 days, insiders have sold 1,422,163 shares of company stock worth $68,876,567. 11.80% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in L. Janus Henderson Group PLC grew its position in shares of Loews by 4,046.2% in the second quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 1,657,777 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $77,601,000 after purchasing an additional 1,617,794 shares during the period. Wells Fargo & Company MN boosted its position in Loews by 15.9% during the third quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 5,038,288 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $241,132,000 after acquiring an additional 689,401 shares during the last quarter. St. James Investment Company LLC acquired a new position in Loews during the third quarter worth about $29,452,000. Thrivent Financial For Lutherans boosted its position in Loews by 4,388.1% during the second quarter. Thrivent Financial For Lutherans now owns 454,642 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $21,282,000 after acquiring an additional 444,512 shares during the last quarter. Finally, PGGM Investments boosted its position in Loews by 188.9% during the third quarter. PGGM Investments now owns 677,650 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $32,432,000 after acquiring an additional 443,056 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 59.26% of the company’s stock.

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About Loews

Loews Corporation is a holding company. The Company, through its subsidiaries, is engaged in commercial property and casualty insurance; operation of offshore oil and gas drilling rigs; transportation and storage of natural gas and natural gas liquids, and operation of a chain of hotels. The Company has five segments consisted of its four individual operating subsidiaries, CNA Financial Corporation (CNA), Diamond Offshore Drilling, Inc (Diamond Offshore), Boardwalk Pipeline Partners, LP (Boardwalk Pipeline) and Loews Hotels Holding Corporation (Loews Hotels), and the Corporate segment.

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