Hartford Financial Services Group Inc (NYSE:HIG) Sees Significant Increase in Short Interest

Hartford Financial Services Group Inc (NYSE:HIG) saw a significant growth in short interest in the month of July. As of July 31st, there was short interest totalling 4,725,200 shares, a growth of 5.0% from the June 30th total of 4,498,300 shares. Currently, 1.3% of the company’s shares are sold short. Based on an average daily trading volume, of 2,100,000 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is presently 2.3 days.

Shares of NYSE:HIG traded up $0.58 on Friday, hitting $58.47. 1,615,527 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 2,097,968. Hartford Financial Services Group has a 12 month low of $40.54 and a 12 month high of $59.17. The stock has a market capitalization of $21.30 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 13.50, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.18 and a beta of 0.67. The business’s 50 day simple moving average is $57.39 and its two-hundred day simple moving average is $52.67. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.27, a current ratio of 0.28 and a quick ratio of 0.28.

Hartford Financial Services Group (NYSE:HIG) last released its earnings results on Thursday, August 1st. The insurance provider reported $1.33 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.11 by $0.22. Hartford Financial Services Group had a return on equity of 12.44% and a net margin of 8.36%. The business had revenue of $5.09 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $5.07 billion. During the same period last year, the company earned $1.13 earnings per share. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 6.3% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities analysts forecast that Hartford Financial Services Group will post 5.24 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, October 1st. Investors of record on Tuesday, September 3rd will be issued a $0.30 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, August 30th. This represents a $1.20 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.05%. Hartford Financial Services Group’s payout ratio is currently 27.71%.

In other Hartford Financial Services Group news, insider William A. Bloom sold 7,927 shares of Hartford Financial Services Group stock in a transaction on Tuesday, June 18th. The shares were sold at an average price of $54.48, for a total transaction of $431,862.96. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 23,440 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,277,011.20. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, Director Robert B. Allardice III sold 6,500 shares of Hartford Financial Services Group stock in a transaction on Thursday, June 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $54.44, for a total transaction of $353,860.00. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 30,684 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,670,436.96. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 103,959 shares of company stock valued at $5,805,656 over the last ninety days. 1.70% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Virtus ETF Advisers LLC bought a new stake in shares of Hartford Financial Services Group in the second quarter valued at about $26,000. NuWave Investment Management LLC raised its holdings in shares of Hartford Financial Services Group by 950.0% in the second quarter. NuWave Investment Management LLC now owns 504 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $28,000 after acquiring an additional 456 shares in the last quarter. Rational Advisors LLC raised its holdings in shares of Hartford Financial Services Group by 950.0% in the second quarter. Rational Advisors LLC now owns 504 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $28,000 after acquiring an additional 456 shares in the last quarter. Icon Wealth Partners LLC bought a new stake in shares of Hartford Financial Services Group in the first quarter valued at about $33,000. Finally, Harvest Group Wealth Management LLC bought a new stake in shares of Hartford Financial Services Group in the first quarter valued at about $33,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 90.71% of the company’s stock.

Several research analysts have commented on HIG shares. Morgan Stanley lifted their price objective on shares of Hartford Financial Services Group from $58.00 to $61.00 and gave the stock an “equal weight” rating in a research note on Thursday. Buckingham Research lifted their price objective on shares of Hartford Financial Services Group from $60.00 to $63.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, July 19th. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Hartford Financial Services Group from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday, May 20th. Barclays set a $70.00 target price on Hartford Financial Services Group and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Monday. Finally, B. Riley lifted their target price on Hartford Financial Services Group from $66.00 to $69.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, June 26th. Five investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eleven have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $61.92.

Hartford Financial Services Group Company Profile

The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc, through its subsidiaries, provides insurance and financial services to individual and business customers in the United States. Its Commercial Lines segment offers workers' compensation, property, automobile, marine, livestock, liability, and umbrella coverages; and customized insurance products and risk management services, including professional liability, bond, surety, and specialty casualty coverages.

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