Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. (NYSE:AJG) Upgraded by Zacks Investment Research to “Hold”

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. (NYSE:AJG) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report issued 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.”

AJG has been the subject of a number of other research reports. BidaskClub lowered shares of Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note on Wednesday, July 19th. Credit Suisse Group raised their price objective on shares of Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. from $68.00 to $69.00 and gave the stock an outperform rating in a research note on Friday, October 27th. Wells Fargo & Company reaffirmed a buy rating and issued a $66.00 price objective on shares of Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. in a research note on Sunday, September 17th. Deutsche Bank AG lowered shares of Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. from a buy rating to a hold rating and set a $64.00 price objective for the company. in a research note on Wednesday, October 4th. Finally, Royal Bank Of Canada reaffirmed a hold rating and issued a $59.00 price objective on shares of Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. in a research note on Tuesday, October 10th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating and six have assigned a buy rating to the stock. Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. has an average rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $64.38.

Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. (NYSE AJG) opened at $64.08 on Tuesday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.66, a current ratio of 1.08 and a quick ratio of 1.08. The stock has a market cap of $11,585.60, a P/E ratio of 22.10, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.16 and a beta of 1.22. Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. has a 12-month low of $48.97 and a 12-month high of $64.45.

Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. (NYSE:AJG) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, October 26th. The financial services provider reported $0.81 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ 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 quarter in the previous year, the business posted $0.77 earnings per share. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 6.9% compared to the same quarter last year. equities analysts forecast that Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. will post 2.99 EPS for the current year.

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The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, December 15th. Shareholders of record on Friday, December 1st will be paid a dividend of $0.39 per share. This represents a $1.56 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.43%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, November 30th. Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 62.40%.

In other Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. news, insider Susan E. Pietrucha sold 3,601 shares of Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. stock in a transaction on 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 sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, Director Frank E. Jr. English sold 1,500 shares of Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. stock in a transaction on Friday, November 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $63.67, for a total transaction of $95,505.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 10,600 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $674,902. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 15,068 shares of company stock valued at $901,391 in the last three months. Company insiders own 1.60% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. HighTower Advisors LLC lifted its stake in shares of Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. by 4.7% in the 1st quarter. HighTower Advisors LLC now owns 24,186 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $1,369,000 after purchasing an additional 1,087 shares during the last quarter. Aviva PLC lifted its stake in shares of Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. by 0.9% in the 2nd quarter. Aviva PLC now owns 111,022 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $6,356,000 after purchasing an additional 990 shares during the last quarter. Epoch Investment Partners Inc. lifted its stake in shares of Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. by 7.9% in the 2nd quarter. Epoch Investment Partners Inc. now owns 2,758,657 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $157,933,000 after purchasing an additional 201,141 shares during the last quarter. WBI Investments Inc. lifted its stake in shares of Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. by 140.0% in the 2nd quarter. WBI Investments Inc. now owns 452,193 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $25,888,000 after purchasing an additional 263,757 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Principal Financial Group Inc. lifted its stake in shares of Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. by 97.9% in the 2nd quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 1,242,484 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $71,132,000 after purchasing an additional 614,788 shares during the last quarter. 81.08% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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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