BidaskClub Upgrades State Auto Financial (STFC) to “Buy”

BidaskClub upgraded shares of State Auto Financial (NASDAQ:STFC) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note released on Friday.

STFC has been the topic of a number of other research reports. Zacks Investment Research lowered State Auto Financial from a hold rating to a strong sell rating in a report on Tuesday, July 17th. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods set a $30.00 price objective on State Auto Financial and gave the company a hold rating in a report on Monday, August 6th.

Shares of STFC stock opened at $30.15 on Friday. The stock has a market capitalization of $1.32 billion, a P/E ratio of -75.38 and a beta of 0.67. State Auto Financial has a 52-week low of $24.84 and a 52-week high of $34.31. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.14, a quick ratio of 0.05 and a current ratio of 0.05.

State Auto Financial (NASDAQ:STFC) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Monday, August 6th. The insurance provider reported ($0.08) earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.06 by ($0.14). The company had revenue of $341.70 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $332.10 million. State Auto Financial had a negative net margin of 0.82% and a negative return on equity of 0.25%. The business’s revenue was down 3.9% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned ($0.04) EPS. As a group, equities research analysts forecast that State Auto Financial will post 1.1 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, September 28th. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, September 12th were issued a $0.10 dividend. This represents a $0.40 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.33%. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, September 11th. State Auto Financial’s dividend payout ratio is presently -100.00%.

In other State Auto Financial news, insider Steven Eugene English sold 3,633 shares of State Auto Financial stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, July 24th. The stock was sold at an average price of $32.00, for a total value of $116,256.00. Following the sale, the insider now owns 39,079 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,250,528. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. 1.97% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the business. Earnest Partners LLC boosted its holdings in State Auto Financial by 0.3% in the 2nd quarter. Earnest Partners LLC now owns 774,130 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $23,154,000 after purchasing an additional 2,158 shares in the last quarter. Lincoln National Corp purchased a new stake in State Auto Financial in the 2nd quarter valued at approximately $205,000. Russell Investments Group Ltd. boosted its holdings in State Auto Financial by 53.1% in the 2nd quarter. Russell Investments Group Ltd. now owns 163,319 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $4,893,000 after purchasing an additional 56,662 shares in the last quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. boosted its holdings in State Auto Financial by 8.8% in the 1st quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 75,174 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $2,148,000 after purchasing an additional 6,107 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Victory Capital Management Inc. boosted its holdings in State Auto Financial by 36.9% in the 2nd quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 1,094,529 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $32,737,000 after purchasing an additional 294,814 shares in the last quarter. 35.20% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

About State Auto Financial

State Auto Financial Corporation, through its subsidiaries, engages in writing personal, business, and specialty insurance products. It operates through four segments: Personal Insurance, Commercial Insurance, Specialty Insurance, and Investment Operations. The Personal Insurance segment primarily provides personal automobile, homeowners insurance, and other personal insurance products.

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