Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. (NYSE:AJG) Stock Rating Upgraded by Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. (NYSE:AJG) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report published on Tuesday, October 31st.

According to Zacks, “Arthur J. Gallagher’s third-quarter 2017 earnings outpaced the Zacks Consensus Estimate and also improved year over year on robust organic growth and solid segmental performance. Shares of Arthur J. Gallagher have outperformed the industry, since the release of its third-quarter results. Arthur J. Gallagher’s inorganic story seems impressive with strategic buyouts, with the company intending to pursue smaller tuck-in mergers in 2017. It remains focused on tapping opportunities in the U.K., Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the U.S. The company remains focused on enhancing productivity and quality that is a part of its value creation strategy. A solid performance is leading to sufficient cash flows help it deploy capital in shareholder-friendly moves. Escalating expenses and weak commercial P&C rates pose concerns. Adverse foreign exchange also will weigh on results.”

Several other brokerages also recently commented on AJG. Credit Suisse Group lifted their target price on shares of Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. from $68.00 to $69.00 and gave the stock an outperform rating in a report on Friday, October 27th. Barclays PLC boosted their target price on shares of Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. from $68.00 to $70.00 and gave the company an overweight rating in a research report on Monday, October 16th. Deutsche Bank AG cut shares of Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. from a buy rating to a hold rating and set a $64.00 target price for the company. in a research report on Wednesday, October 4th. Royal Bank Of Canada reiterated a hold rating and set a $59.00 price objective on shares of Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. in a research report on Tuesday, October 10th. Finally, Wells Fargo & Company reiterated a buy rating and set a $66.00 price objective on shares of Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. in a research report on Sunday, September 17th. Five research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and six have given a buy rating to the stock. The stock has an average rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $64.38.

Shares of Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. (NYSE AJG) traded up $0.14 during trading hours on Tuesday, hitting $65.97. 1,749,175 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 787,850. Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. has a fifty-two week low of $48.97 and a fifty-two week high of $66.12. The company has a current ratio of 1.08, a quick ratio of 1.08 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.66. The firm has a market capitalization of $11,927.31, a price-to-earnings ratio of 22.75, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.22 and a beta of 1.22.

Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. (NYSE:AJG) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, October 26th. The financial services provider reported $0.81 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.79 by $0.02. Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. had a net margin of 7.62% and a return on equity of 13.56%. The firm had revenue of $1.58 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.60 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $0.77 EPS. The company’s revenue was up 6.9% compared to the same quarter last year. equities analysts predict that Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. will post 2.99 earnings per share for the current year.

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The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, December 15th. Investors of record on Friday, December 1st will be paid a dividend of $0.39 per share. This represents a $1.56 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.36%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, November 30th. Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.’s dividend payout ratio is presently 62.40%.

In other news, CFO Douglas K. Howell sold 9,967 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Thursday, September 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $59.98, for a total value of $597,820.66. Following the completion of the sale, the chief financial officer now owns 47,767 shares in the company, valued at $2,865,064.66. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, insider Susan E. Pietrucha sold 3,601 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Thursday, August 31st. The shares were sold at an average price of $57.78, for a total transaction of $208,065.78. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 4,055 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $234,297.90. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last 90 days, insiders have sold 15,068 shares of company stock worth $901,391. Corporate insiders own 1.60% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Invictus RG purchased a new stake in Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. during the third quarter worth about $130,000. Eagle Boston Investment Management Inc. bought a new position in Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. during the third quarter worth about $201,000. Doyle Wealth Management bought a new position in Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. during the third quarter worth about $203,000. Pacer Advisors Inc. boosted its position in Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. by 8.2% during the second quarter. Pacer Advisors Inc. now owns 3,437 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $197,000 after purchasing an additional 261 shares during the period. Finally, Coldstream Capital Management Inc. bought a new position in Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. during the second quarter worth about $202,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 81.09% of the company’s stock.

About Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.

Arthur J. Gallagher & Co and its subsidiaries are engaged in providing insurance brokerage and consulting services, and third-party claims settlement and administration services to both domestic and international entities. The Company operates through three segments: brokerage, risk management and corporate.

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Analyst Recommendations for Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. (NYSE:AJG)

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