State Auto Financial (STFC) Upgraded by BidaskClub to Strong-Buy

State Auto Financial (NASDAQ:STFC) was upgraded by research analysts at BidaskClub from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a research note issued on Thursday.

Several other research firms have also commented on STFC. Zacks Investment Research upgraded State Auto Financial from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, November 15th. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods restated a “hold” rating and issued a $26.00 price objective on shares of State Auto Financial in a research report on Friday, August 18th. Finally, ValuEngine upgraded State Auto Financial from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, August 11th. Five investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $26.00.

State Auto Financial (NASDAQ:STFC) traded down $0.32 during trading on Thursday, reaching $28.85. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 50,602 shares, compared to its average volume of 37,742. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.14, a quick ratio of 0.08 and a current ratio of 0.08. State Auto Financial has a 1-year low of $22.11 and a 1-year high of $29.61.

State Auto Financial (NASDAQ:STFC) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, November 2nd. The insurance provider reported ($0.54) EPS for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of ($0.46) by ($0.08). State Auto Financial had a negative return on equity of 1.53% and a net margin of 1.94%. The company had revenue of $358.40 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $342.70 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $0.10 EPS. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 1.6% on a year-over-year basis. sell-side analysts expect that State Auto Financial will post -0.32 earnings per share for the current year.

In other news, VP Matthew Stanley Mrozek sold 3,380 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, December 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $27.85, for a total transaction of $94,133.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 8,633 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $240,429.05. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, insider John M. Petrucci sold 10,682 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, November 30th. The stock was sold at an average price of $27.84, for a total value of $297,386.88. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 1.54% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in STFC. Deprince Race & Zollo Inc. raised its stake in shares of State Auto Financial by 38.1% during the 2nd quarter. Deprince Race & Zollo Inc. now owns 373,787 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $9,618,000 after buying an additional 103,164 shares during the period. Alliancebernstein L.P. raised its stake in State Auto Financial by 21.9% in the 2nd quarter. Alliancebernstein L.P. now owns 529,239 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $13,617,000 after purchasing an additional 95,076 shares during the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its stake in State Auto Financial by 7.9% in the 1st quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 1,183,622 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $32,490,000 after purchasing an additional 86,567 shares during the last quarter. Russell Investments Group Ltd. raised its stake in State Auto Financial by 40.2% in the 2nd quarter. Russell Investments Group Ltd. now owns 157,259 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $4,046,000 after purchasing an additional 45,084 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Dimensional Fund Advisors LP raised its stake in State Auto Financial by 1.1% in the 2nd quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 2,542,424 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $65,418,000 after purchasing an additional 28,779 shares during the last quarter. 33.10% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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About State Auto Financial

State Auto Financial Corporation is a property and casualty insurance holding company. The Company is engaged in writing personal, business and specialty insurance. Its segments include Personal Insurance Segment, Commercial Insurance Segment and Specialty Insurance Segment. Its Personal Insurance Segment include personal auto, homeowners and other personal; Commercial Insurance Segment include commercial auto, small commercial package, middle market commercial, workers’ compensation and other commercial, and Specialty Insurance Segment include Excess & Surplus (E&S) property, E&S casualty and programs.

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