Zacks Investment Research Upgrades Universal Insurance (NYSE:UVE) to Buy

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Universal Insurance (NYSE:UVE) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note published on Tuesday, Zacks.com reports. Zacks Investment Research currently has $16.00 target price on the insurance provider’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Universal Insurance Holdings, Inc., through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Universal Property & Casualty Insurance Company (UPCIC), is currently engaged in insurance underwriting, distribution and claims. UPCIC generates revenue from the collection and investment of premiums. The Company’s agency operations which include Universal Florida Insurance Agency and U.S. Insurance Solutions, Inc. generate income from policy fees, commissions, premium financing referral fees and the marketing of ancillary services. “

Universal Insurance stock opened at $14.08 on Tuesday. The stock has a market cap of $439.52 million, a PE ratio of 17.82 and a beta of 1.08. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $14.07. Universal Insurance has a 52 week low of $10.84 and a 52 week high of $20.85. The company has a current ratio of 0.41, a quick ratio of 0.41 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.02.

Universal Insurance (NYSE:UVE) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, April 28th. The insurance provider reported $0.84 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.69 by $0.15. The company had revenue of $262.76 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $269.49 million. Universal Insurance had a negative return on equity of 5.94% and a net margin of 2.31%. Equities research analysts predict that Universal Insurance will post 2.2 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, May 21st. Shareholders of record on Friday, May 14th were issued a $0.16 dividend. This represents a $0.64 annualized dividend and a yield of 4.55%. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, May 13th. Universal Insurance’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is -71.11%.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the business. Mountain Lake Investment Management LLC grew its holdings in Universal Insurance by 16.1% in the 1st quarter. Mountain Lake Investment Management LLC now owns 180,000 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $2,581,000 after buying an additional 25,000 shares during the period. D. E. Shaw & Co. Inc. grew its holdings in Universal Insurance by 29.4% in the 1st quarter. D. E. Shaw & Co. Inc. now owns 337,031 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $4,833,000 after buying an additional 76,530 shares during the period. Jane Street Group LLC purchased a new stake in Universal Insurance in the 1st quarter valued at about $215,000. AQR Capital Management LLC grew its holdings in Universal Insurance by 120.4% in the 1st quarter. AQR Capital Management LLC now owns 71,817 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $1,030,000 after buying an additional 39,230 shares during the period. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada grew its holdings in Universal Insurance by 11.4% in the 1st quarter. Royal Bank of Canada now owns 93,576 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $1,342,000 after buying an additional 9,574 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 65.95% of the company’s stock.

About Universal Insurance

Universal Insurance Holdings, Inc, together with its subsidiaries, operates as an integrated insurance holding company in the United States. The company develops, markets, and underwrites insurance products for personal residential insurance, such as homeowners, renters/tenants, condo unit owners, and dwelling/fire; allied lines, coverage for other structures, and personal property; and commercial residential multi-peril, as well as liability and personal articles coverages.

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