Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. (The) (HIG) Hits New 52-Week High on Better-Than-Expected Earnings

Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. (The) (NYSE:HIG)’s share price reached a new 52-week high on Friday following a stronger than expected earnings report. The stock traded as high as $54.63 and last traded at $54.62, with a volume of 2,544,062 shares traded. The stock had previously closed at $52.92.

The insurance provider reported $1.04 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.94 by $0.10. Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. (The) had a return on equity of 9.13% and a net margin of 3.73%. The firm had revenue of $4.77 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $4.30 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $0.31 earnings per share. The company’s revenue was up 2.0% compared to the same quarter last year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, October 2nd. Investors of record on Friday, September 1st will be issued a dividend of $0.23 per share. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, August 30th. This represents a $0.92 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.62%. Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. (The)’s dividend payout ratio is presently 51.40%.

A number of research analysts have weighed in on HIG shares. Wells Fargo & Company reiterated a “hold” rating on shares of Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. (The) in a report on Tuesday, April 18th. Credit Suisse Group set a $51.00 target price on Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. (The) and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a report on Sunday, April 30th. ValuEngine upgraded Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. (The) from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, June 2nd. Deutsche Bank AG started coverage on Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. (The) in a research note on Tuesday, June 6th. They issued a “buy” rating and a $60.00 price target on the stock. Finally, BidaskClub upgraded Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. (The) from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a research note on Saturday, June 17th. Five equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eight have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. (The) presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $56.30.

Several large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio raised its stake in Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. (The) by 11.8% in the second quarter. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio now owns 189,497 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $9,962,000 after buying an additional 20,037 shares during the period. Schneider Capital Management Corp raised its stake in Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. (The) by 15.8% in the second quarter. Schneider Capital Management Corp now owns 12,445 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $654,000 after buying an additional 1,700 shares during the period. Piedmont Investment Advisors LLC bought a new stake in Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. (The) during the second quarter valued at approximately $5,719,000. BB&T Investment Services Inc. bought a new stake in Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. (The) during the second quarter valued at approximately $327,000. Finally, Scotia Capital Inc. raised its stake in Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. (The) by 0.3% in the second quarter. Scotia Capital Inc. now owns 33,319 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $1,751,000 after buying an additional 102 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 90.49% of the company’s stock.

The company has a market capitalization of $20.64 billion, a PE ratio of 31.10 and a beta of 0.93. The company has a 50 day moving average of $54.15 and a 200-day moving average of $50.27.

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