Arthur J Gallagher & Co (AJG) Downgraded to “Hold” at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Arthur J Gallagher & Co (NYSE:AJG) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report released on Friday.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Arthur J. Gallagher have outperformed the industry, in a year's time. The company has also seen its 2018 estimates move north in the last 60 days.  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. However, escalating expenses and weak commercial P&C rates pose concerns. Adverse foreign exchange also will weigh on results. It is set to release fourth quarter results on Jan 25. A Zacks Rank #3 increases the predictive power of a beat, but combined with the Earnings ESP of -0.45%, makes prediction difficult.”

A number of other research firms have also weighed in on AJG. Wells Fargo & Co set a $74.00 price objective on shares of Arthur J Gallagher & Co and gave the stock a buy rating in a research note on Friday, December 8th. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reaffirmed a buy rating and issued a $77.00 price objective on shares of Arthur J Gallagher & Co in a research note on Friday, December 22nd. Barclays upped their price objective on shares of Arthur J Gallagher & Co from $68.00 to $70.00 and gave the stock an overweight rating in a research note on Monday, October 16th. ValuEngine lowered shares of Arthur J Gallagher & Co from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note on Friday, December 1st. 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. Six analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and six have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has a consensus rating of Buy and an average target price of $68.22.

Arthur J Gallagher & Co (AJG) traded up $0.26 during trading hours on Friday, reaching $64.29. 1,098,009 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 653,387. Arthur J Gallagher & Co has a 52 week low of $52.57 and a 52 week high of $67.32. The stock has a market capitalization of $11,576.56, a price-to-earnings ratio of 25.72, a PEG ratio of 1.72 and a beta of 1.23. The company has a current ratio of 1.08, a quick ratio of 1.08 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.66.

Arthur J Gallagher & Co (NYSE:AJG) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, October 26th. The financial services provider reported $0.81 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ 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 company had revenue of $1.58 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.60 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $0.77 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 6.9% compared to the same quarter last year. sell-side analysts predict that Arthur J Gallagher & Co will post 2.99 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In other Arthur J Gallagher & Co news, Director Frank E. Jr. English sold 1,500 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, November 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $63.67, for a total value of $95,505.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 10,600 shares in the company, valued at $674,902. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, VP Scott R. Hudson sold 7,600 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, December 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $65.29, for a total transaction of $496,204.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the vice president now owns 25,027 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,634,012.83. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 1.60% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the business. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its holdings in shares of Arthur J Gallagher & Co by 3.2% during the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 18,149,660 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $1,039,067,000 after acquiring an additional 571,235 shares in the last quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. increased its holdings in shares of Arthur J Gallagher & Co by 8.0% during the third quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 3,885,066 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $239,126,000 after acquiring an additional 286,471 shares in the last quarter. Epoch Investment Partners Inc. increased its holdings in shares of Arthur J Gallagher & Co by 7.9% during the second quarter. Epoch Investment Partners Inc. now owns 2,758,657 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $157,933,000 after acquiring an additional 201,141 shares in the last quarter. Citadel Advisors LLC increased its holdings in shares of Arthur J Gallagher & Co by 785.9% during the second quarter. Citadel Advisors LLC now owns 2,362,782 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $135,269,000 after acquiring an additional 2,096,062 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Janus Henderson Group PLC increased its holdings in shares of Arthur J Gallagher & Co by 8,471.3% during the second quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 1,852,944 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $106,081,000 after acquiring an additional 1,831,326 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 82.52% of the company’s stock.

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Arthur J Gallagher & Co Company Profile

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.

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

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