Selective Insurance Group (NASDAQ:SIGI) Stock Rating Lowered by Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Selective Insurance Group (NASDAQ:SIGI) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report released on Wednesday, reports. The firm currently has $64.00 price objective on the insurance provider’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Selective Insurance is poised to witness top-line growth backed by sustained premium growth across its segments. Premiums have benefited from the company’s compelling portfolio, high retention ratio, pure renewal price increase and new business growth. Net investment income should benefit from active portfolio management. The company estimates investment income of $170 million and $5 million from alternative investments in 2020. Geographic expansion plays a vital role in company’s growth. Shares of Selective Insurance have underperformed the industry in the past year. Nevertheless, it boasts solid capital position on which it deploys capital effectively. However, it is exposed to cat loss, inducing earnings volatility. High costs exert pressure on operating margin. Its high debt level and lower times interest earned remain concern.”

A number of other research analysts have also recently commented on the company. BidaskClub raised Selective Insurance Group from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note on Friday, July 17th. Credit Suisse Group raised Selective Insurance Group from an underperform rating to an outperform rating and increased their target price for the company from $49.00 to $50.00 in a research note on Thursday, May 14th. Finally, TheStreet raised Selective Insurance Group from a c+ rating to a b- rating in a research note on Tuesday, August 25th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the company. Selective Insurance Group presently has an average rating of Hold and an average price target of $60.67.

Selective Insurance Group stock opened at $59.43 on Wednesday. The company has a market cap of $3.60 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 19.11 and a beta of 0.76. The company has a current ratio of 0.31, a quick ratio of 0.31 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.24. Selective Insurance Group has a 12 month low of $37.05 and a 12 month high of $80.65. The business’s 50 day simple moving average is $56.92 and its 200 day simple moving average is $53.38.

Selective Insurance Group (NASDAQ:SIGI) last released its earnings results on Wednesday, July 29th. The insurance provider reported $0.40 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.37 by $0.03. The business had revenue of $682.40 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $707.28 million. Selective Insurance Group had a return on equity of 9.90% and a net margin of 6.73%. The firm’s revenue was down 3.6% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $1.16 earnings per share. As a group, equities research analysts forecast that Selective Insurance Group will post 3.49 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, September 1st. Stockholders of record on Friday, August 14th were paid a dividend of $0.23 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, August 13th. This represents a $0.92 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.55%. Selective Insurance Group’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 20.91%.

Large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA grew its stake in shares of Selective Insurance Group by 6.0% during the first quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA now owns 90,933 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $4,519,000 after buying an additional 5,118 shares during the last quarter. Squarepoint Ops LLC bought a new stake in shares of Selective Insurance Group in the first quarter worth about $512,000. Bank of Nova Scotia bought a new stake in shares of Selective Insurance Group in the second quarter worth about $387,000. State of Tennessee Treasury Department bought a new stake in shares of Selective Insurance Group in the first quarter worth about $1,747,000. Finally, Wellington Management Group LLP bought a new stake in shares of Selective Insurance Group in the first quarter worth about $22,207,000. 79.32% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Selective Insurance Group Company Profile

Selective Insurance Group, Inc, together with its subsidiaries, provides insurance products and services in the United States. It operates through four segments: Standard Commercial Lines, Standard Personal Lines, Excess and Surplus Lines, and Investments. The company's products and services include property insurance, which covers the financial consequences of accidental loss of an insured's real and/or personal property; and casualty insurance that covers the financial consequences of employee injuries in the course of employment, and bodily injury and/or property damage to a third party as a result of an insured's negligent acts, omissions, or legal liabilities.

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