Zacks Investment Research Upgrades AmTrust Financial Services (AFSI) to Buy

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of AmTrust Financial Services (NASDAQ:AFSI) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note published on Tuesday morning. The firm currently has $14.00 price target on the insurance provider’s stock.

According to Zacks, “AmTrust Financial’s leadership position in commercial small business, expansion of other segments and an impressive inorganic growth story poise it well for growth. The company also aims to build an investment portfolio that returns in line with the sector. The slow but improving rate environment also raises optimism. Plus, a strong balance sheet facilitates growth initiatives and effective capital deployment. The company also witnessed the Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2018 moved 5.2% north over the last 60 days. However, a high level of debt increases interest burden and escalates expenses, thereby hurting margin. Exposure to cat environment induced volatility in underwriting results. Shares of AmTrust Financial have underperformed the industry in a year's time.”

Other equities research analysts have also recently issued research reports about the stock. BidaskClub upgraded shares of AmTrust Financial Services from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research report on Tuesday. FBR & Co cut shares of AmTrust Financial Services from a buy rating to a neutral rating and set a $14.00 target price for the company. in a research report on Tuesday, October 24th. ValuEngine cut shares of AmTrust Financial Services from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report on Friday, February 2nd. SunTrust Banks reiterated a buy rating and set a $16.00 target price on shares of AmTrust Financial Services in a research report on Friday, November 10th. Finally, B. Riley reiterated a neutral rating and set a $12.00 target price on shares of AmTrust Financial Services in a research report on Monday, November 6th. Six analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the company. AmTrust Financial Services has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $15.14.

Shares of AmTrust Financial Services (NASDAQ AFSI) opened at $13.15 on Tuesday. The stock has a market cap of $2,615.00, a PE ratio of -82.18 and a beta of 1.30. The company has a current ratio of 0.53, a quick ratio of 0.53 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.46. AmTrust Financial Services has a 1 year low of $8.80 and a 1 year high of $27.91.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, April 16th. Investors of record on Monday, April 2nd will be given a dividend of $0.17 per share. This represents a $0.68 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 5.17%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, March 29th. AmTrust Financial Services’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently -424.97%.

Several institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in AFSI. State Street Corp grew its holdings in AmTrust Financial Services by 54.1% during the 2nd quarter. State Street Corp now owns 3,292,917 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $49,854,000 after acquiring an additional 1,156,431 shares during the last quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP grew its holdings in AmTrust Financial Services by 32.4% during the 3rd quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 2,698,536 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $36,324,000 after acquiring an additional 660,088 shares during the last quarter. Northern Trust Corp grew its holdings in AmTrust Financial Services by 93.7% during the 2nd quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 1,304,835 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $19,755,000 after acquiring an additional 631,314 shares during the last quarter. Boston Partners grew its holdings in AmTrust Financial Services by 2.6% during the 3rd quarter. Boston Partners now owns 1,262,810 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $16,997,000 after acquiring an additional 32,600 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Bank of New York Mellon Corp grew its holdings in AmTrust Financial Services by 50.4% during the 4th quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 1,110,664 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $11,185,000 after acquiring an additional 372,065 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 33.59% of the company’s stock.

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About AmTrust Financial Services

Amtrust Financial Services, Inc (AmTrust) is an insurance holding company. The Company, through its subsidiaries, provides specialty property and casualty insurance focusing on workers’ compensation and commercial package coverage for small business, specialty risk and extended warranty coverage, and property and casualty coverage for middle market business.

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