United Fire Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:UFCS) Short Interest Up 64.8% in June

United Fire Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:UFCS) was the target of a significant growth in short interest in June. As of June 30th, there was short interest totalling 274,000 shares, a growth of 64.8% from the June 15th total of 166,300 shares. Approximately 1.3% of the shares of the stock are sold short. Based on an average daily trading volume, of 82,000 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is presently 3.3 days.

In related news, Director Mary K. Quass sold 2,727 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, May 13th. The stock was sold at an average price of $24.50, for a total value of $66,811.50. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 20,809 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $509,820.50. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Company insiders own 6.89% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the company. Great West Life Assurance Co. Can bought a new position in shares of United Fire Group during the fourth quarter worth about $1,152,000. Legal & General Group Plc raised its position in shares of United Fire Group by 9.2% during the first quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 66,363 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $2,164,000 after acquiring an additional 5,594 shares during the last quarter. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Public School Empls Retrmt SYS raised its position in shares of United Fire Group by 48.4% during the first quarter. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Public School Empls Retrmt SYS now owns 10,705 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $349,000 after acquiring an additional 3,492 shares during the last quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA raised its position in shares of United Fire Group by 10.9% during the first quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA now owns 8,908 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $290,000 after acquiring an additional 873 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Wells Fargo & Company MN increased its holdings in United Fire Group by 0.5% in the first quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 139,680 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $4,555,000 after purchasing an additional 719 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 61.23% of the company’s stock.

United Fire Group stock traded down $0.46 during trading hours on Tuesday, hitting $26.17. The stock had a trading volume of 232 shares, compared to its average volume of 82,443. United Fire Group has a one year low of $22.08 and a one year high of $53.68. The stock has a market cap of $664.93 million, a price-to-earnings ratio of -6.51 and a beta of 0.07. The business’s 50 day simple moving average is $27.61 and its 200-day simple moving average is $35.04.

United Fire Group (NASDAQ:UFCS) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, May 6th. The insurance provider reported $0.05 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.12 by ($0.07). United Fire Group had a negative return on equity of 5.42% and a negative net margin of 9.52%. The company had revenue of $271.21 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $287.30 million. As a group, analysts anticipate that United Fire Group will post -0.25 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, June 19th. Stockholders of record on Friday, June 5th were given a dividend of $0.33 per share. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, June 4th. This represents a $1.32 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 5.04%. United Fire Group’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is -122.22%.

Several analysts recently weighed in on UFCS shares. TheStreet lowered United Fire Group from a “c” rating to a “d” rating in a research note on Wednesday, May 6th. Piper Sandler dropped their target price on United Fire Group from $44.00 to $30.00 and set a “neutral” rating for the company in a research report on Monday, April 6th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded United Fire Group from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, June 10th. Sidoti dropped their target price on United Fire Group from $35.00 to $31.00 and set a “neutral” rating for the company in a research report on Monday, May 4th. Finally, BidaskClub downgraded United Fire Group from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Saturday, June 13th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have assigned a hold rating and one has issued a buy rating to the company. United Fire Group has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $31.33.

About United Fire Group

United Fire Group, Inc, together with its subsidiaries, provides property and casualty insurance for individuals and businesses in the United States. The company offers commercial and personal lines of property and casualty insurance, as well as assumed reinsurance products. Its commercial policies include fire and allied lines, other liability, automobile, workers' compensation, and surety coverage; and personal lines comprise automobile, and fire and allied lines coverage, including homeowners.

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