Hartford Financial Services Group (NYSE:HIG) Rating Lowered to Sell at ValuEngine

Hartford Financial Services Group (NYSE:HIG) was downgraded by stock analysts at ValuEngine from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report issued on Tuesday, ValuEngine reports.

A number of other equities analysts have also commented on HIG. Morgan Stanley raised their price objective on Hartford Financial Services Group from $58.00 to $61.00 and gave the stock an “equal weight” rating in a research note on Thursday, August 15th. Goldman Sachs Group upgraded Hartford Financial Services Group from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and raised their price objective for the stock from $53.00 to $64.00 in a research note on Wednesday, May 29th. Royal Bank of Canada raised their price objective on Hartford Financial Services Group to $68.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a research note on Monday, August 5th. UBS Group raised their price objective on Hartford Financial Services Group from $61.00 to $65.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, July 10th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research lowered Hartford Financial Services Group from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday, May 20th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have issued a hold rating and ten have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $62.08.

NYSE:HIG traded up $0.79 during mid-day trading on Tuesday, hitting $59.83. 53,293 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 2,060,425. The stock has a market capitalization of $21.42 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 13.79, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.21 and a beta of 0.64. The firm’s 50-day simple moving average is $58.43 and its 200 day simple moving average is $54.00. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.27, a quick ratio of 0.28 and a current ratio of 0.28. Hartford Financial Services Group has a fifty-two week low of $40.54 and a fifty-two week high of $60.77.

Hartford Financial Services Group (NYSE:HIG) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, August 1st. The insurance provider reported $1.33 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.11 by $0.22. Hartford Financial Services Group had a return on equity of 12.44% and a net margin of 8.36%. The business had revenue of $5.09 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $5.07 billion. During the same period last year, the firm posted $1.13 EPS. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 6.3% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, analysts predict that Hartford Financial Services Group will post 5.24 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In other news, CFO Beth Ann Costello sold 5,000 shares of Hartford Financial Services Group stock in a transaction on Monday, August 5th. The stock was sold at an average price of $57.19, for a total value of $285,950.00. Following the transaction, the chief financial officer now owns 51,245 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,930,701.55. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, EVP Martha Gervasi sold 3,672 shares of Hartford Financial Services Group stock in a transaction on Monday, June 17th. The shares were sold at an average price of $55.04, for a total value of $202,106.88. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 18,882 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,039,265.28. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders sold 108,109 shares of company stock worth $6,084,135. Corporate insiders own 1.70% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of HIG. Milestone Group Inc. grew its position in Hartford Financial Services Group by 0.7% during the 2nd quarter. Milestone Group Inc. now owns 26,353 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $1,468,000 after acquiring an additional 176 shares during the last quarter. Covington Capital Management grew its position in Hartford Financial Services Group by 17.2% during the 2nd quarter. Covington Capital Management now owns 1,518 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $85,000 after acquiring an additional 223 shares during the last quarter. Moors & Cabot Inc. grew its position in Hartford Financial Services Group by 1.6% during the 2nd quarter. Moors & Cabot Inc. now owns 14,247 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $798,000 after acquiring an additional 225 shares during the last quarter. Pinnacle Associates Ltd. grew its position in Hartford Financial Services Group by 1.8% during the 2nd quarter. Pinnacle Associates Ltd. now owns 14,015 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $781,000 after acquiring an additional 252 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Parallel Advisors LLC grew its position in Hartford Financial Services Group by 19.6% during the 2nd quarter. Parallel Advisors LLC now owns 1,559 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $87,000 after acquiring an additional 256 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 91.60% 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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