American Equity Investment Life Holding Company (AEL) Upgraded to “Hold” at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of American Equity Investment Life Holding Company (NYSE:AEL) from a strong sell rating to a hold rating in a research note issued to investors on Tuesday morning.

According to Zacks, “American Equity Investment Life Holding Company, through its wholly-owned operating subsidiaries, is a full service underwriter of a broad line of annuity and insurance products, with a primary emphasis on the sale of fixed rate and index annuities. “

A number of other equities analysts also recently commented on the stock. RBC Capital Markets reissued a buy rating and issued a $24.00 target price on shares of American Equity Investment Life Holding Company in a research note on Monday. J P Morgan Chase & Co downgraded shares of American Equity Investment Life Holding Company from an overweight rating to a neutral rating and raised their target price for the company from $20.00 to $24.00 in a research note on Tuesday, January 3rd. FBR & Co raised their target price on shares of American Equity Investment Life Holding Company from $23.00 to $25.00 and gave the company an outperform rating in a research note on Monday, November 28th. Sandler O’Neill raised shares of American Equity Investment Life Holding Company from a hold rating to a buy rating and set a $18.00 target price on the stock in a research note on Friday, November 4th. Finally, TheStreet downgraded shares of American Equity Investment Life Holding Company from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note on Wednesday, November 2nd. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and seven have given a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has an average rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $21.71.

Analyst Recommendations for American Equity Investment Life Holding Company (NYSE:AEL)

Shares of American Equity Investment Life Holding Company (NYSE:AEL) traded up 0.65% during trading on Tuesday, hitting $23.12. 568,262 shares of the company were exchanged. The stock’s market cap is $1.99 billion. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $22.11 and its 200 day moving average price is $18.30. American Equity Investment Life Holding Company has a 12 month low of $12.65 and a 12 month high of $23.45.

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The firm also recently declared an annual dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, December 20th. Stockholders of record on Monday, December 5th were issued a $0.24 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, December 1st. This is a positive change from American Equity Investment Life Holding Company’s previous annual dividend of $0.22. This represents a dividend yield of 1.11%. American Equity Investment Life Holding Company’s payout ratio is -399.93%.

In related news, Director Alexander Meeker Clark sold 5,000 shares of American Equity Investment Life Holding Company stock in a transaction dated Friday, January 6th. The shares were sold at an average price of $22.67, for a total value of $113,350.00. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 10,500 shares in the company, valued at approximately $238,035. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, Director Alan David Matula acquired 2,200 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, December 19th. The stock was purchased at an average price of $22.60 per share, for a total transaction of $49,720.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 6,950 shares in the company, valued at $157,070. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. 4.43% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

A number of hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of AEL. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its stake in shares of American Equity Investment Life Holding Company by 7.3% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 6,711,261 shares of the company’s stock valued at $95,636,000 after buying an additional 458,010 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Fund Advisors increased its stake in shares of American Equity Investment Life Holding Company by 12.1% in the third quarter. BlackRock Fund Advisors now owns 5,669,749 shares of the company’s stock valued at $100,525,000 after buying an additional 610,765 shares in the last quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. increased its stake in shares of American Equity Investment Life Holding Company by 17.2% in the second quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. now owns 3,336,046 shares of the company’s stock valued at $47,539,000 after buying an additional 490,506 shares in the last quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. increased its stake in shares of American Equity Investment Life Holding Company by 1.1% in the third quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. now owns 3,032,109 shares of the company’s stock valued at $53,760,000 after buying an additional 32,238 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Northern Trust Corp increased its stake in shares of American Equity Investment Life Holding Company by 0.5% in the third quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 2,187,851 shares of the company’s stock valued at $38,790,000 after buying an additional 11,522 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 89.40% of the company’s stock.

About American Equity Investment Life Holding Company

American Equity Investment Life Holding Company is engaged in the development and sale of fixed index and fixed rate annuity products. The Company issues fixed annuity and life insurance products through its life insurance subsidiaries, American Equity Investment Life Insurance Company, American Equity Investment Life Insurance Company of New York and Eagle Life Insurance Company.

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