Zacks Investment Research Downgrades Argo Group International (AGII) to Strong Sell

Argo Group International (NASDAQ:AGII) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research report issued on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “PXRE Group Ltd. provides reinsurance products and services to a worldwide marketplace. They primarily emphasize commercial and personal property and casualty reinsurance risks, and offer both broker-based and direct-writing distribution capabilities. PXRE also provides marine and aerospace reinsurance products and services. “

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A number of other equities research analysts have also issued reports on the stock. ValuEngine lowered shares of Argo Group International from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Friday, April 6th. BidaskClub raised shares of Argo Group International from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, March 21st. Finally, Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $62.00 target price on shares of Argo Group International in a report on Friday, February 23rd.

AGII traded up $0.05 during trading on Tuesday, reaching $58.10. 122,952 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 172,667. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.22, a current ratio of 0.52 and a quick ratio of 0.52. Argo Group International has a 12-month low of $49.69 and a 12-month high of $60.80. The firm has a market cap of $1,944.83, a P/E ratio of -138.33 and a beta of 0.61.

Argo Group International (NASDAQ:AGII) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, February 13th. The insurance provider reported ($0.66) earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of ($0.51) by ($0.15). Argo Group International had a net margin of 2.84% and a negative return on equity of 0.80%. The company had revenue of $441.60 million for the quarter. sell-side analysts anticipate that Argo Group International will post 3.47 earnings per share for the current year.

In related news, CFO Jay Stanley Bullock sold 12,947 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Monday, March 12th. The shares were sold at an average price of $54.99, for a total value of $711,955.53. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief financial officer now directly owns 80,406 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $4,421,525.94. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, Director John R. Power, Jr. sold 4,108 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Monday, March 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $61.09, for a total transaction of $250,957.72. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 19,593 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,196,936.37. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders sold 36,544 shares of company stock valued at $2,092,498. 5.22% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of AGII. Janus Henderson Group PLC purchased a new position in Argo Group International during the third quarter worth $15,531,000. Thrivent Financial For Lutherans boosted its stake in Argo Group International by 189.2% during the fourth quarter. Thrivent Financial For Lutherans now owns 307,556 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $18,961,000 after buying an additional 201,200 shares during the period. Hillcrest Asset Management LLC purchased a new position in Argo Group International during the fourth quarter worth $10,644,000. Dean Investment Associates LLC purchased a new position in Argo Group International during the fourth quarter worth $6,109,000. Finally, Dean Capital Management purchased a new position in Argo Group International during the fourth quarter worth $4,410,000. 79.58% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

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About Argo Group International

Argo Group International Holdings, Ltd. is an underwriter of specialty insurance and reinsurance products in the property and casualty market. The Company operates through four segments: Excess and Surplus Lines, Commercial Specialty, International Specialty and Syndicate 1200. Excess and Surplus Lines segment carriers focus on risks that the standard (admitted) market is unwilling or unable to underwrite.

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