Brown & Brown (BRO) Short Interest Up 50.9% in March

Brown & Brown (NYSE:BRO) saw a large growth in short interest in March. As of March 29th, there was short interest totalling 2,519,148 shares, a growth of 50.9% from the March 15th total of 1,669,567 shares. Based on an average daily trading volume, of 1,344,980 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is presently 1.9 days. Currently, 1.1% of the shares of the company are sold short.

In related news, Chairman Hyatt J. Brown sold 140,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, March 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $52.85, for a total transaction of $7,399,000.00. Following the sale, the chairman now directly owns 27,957 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,477,527.45. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, Chairman Hyatt J. Brown sold 35,561 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, March 13th. The shares were sold at an average price of $53.13, for a total transaction of $1,889,355.93. Following the sale, the chairman now owns 27,957 shares in the company, valued at $1,485,355.41. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 17.12% of the company’s stock.

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A number of institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Xact Kapitalforvaltning AB bought a new position in shares of Brown & Brown in the 4th quarter worth $353,000. Envestnet Asset Management Inc. increased its holdings in shares of Brown & Brown by 3.9% in the 4th quarter. Envestnet Asset Management Inc. now owns 43,446 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $2,236,000 after buying an additional 1,640 shares during the last quarter. MetLife Investment Advisors LLC bought a new position in shares of Brown & Brown in the 4th quarter worth $3,767,000. Castleark Management LLC bought a new position in shares of Brown & Brown in the 4th quarter worth $6,042,000. Finally, Jane Street Group LLC bought a new position in shares of Brown & Brown in the 4th quarter worth $358,000. 36.94% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

A number of brokerages recently commented on BRO. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Brown & Brown from a “sell” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $28.00 price target on the stock in a research note on Tuesday, April 3rd. Royal Bank of Canada restated a “hold” rating and set a $26.50 price target on shares of Brown & Brown in a research note on Wednesday, January 24th. Langen Mcalenn restated a “buy” rating on shares of Brown & Brown in a research note on Tuesday, January 16th. ValuEngine lowered shares of Brown & Brown from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, March 29th. Finally, Deutsche Bank decreased their target price on shares of Brown & Brown from $52.00 to $26.00 and set a “hold” rating on the stock in a report on Thursday, March 29th. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have given a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $24.94.

Brown & Brown stock opened at $26.31 on Wednesday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.33, a quick ratio of 0.94 and a current ratio of 0.94. The company has a market cap of $7,088.46, a P/E ratio of 27.15, a PEG ratio of 2.08 and a beta of 0.69. Brown & Brown has a 1-year low of $20.84 and a 1-year high of $26.93.

Brown & Brown (NYSE:BRO) last posted its earnings results on Monday, January 22nd. The financial services provider reported $0.24 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.21 by $0.03. The business had revenue of $474.30 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $449.89 million. Brown & Brown had a net margin of 21.24% and a return on equity of 11.19%. Brown & Brown’s revenue was up 9.4% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $0.21 EPS. research analysts expect that Brown & Brown will post 1.24 EPS for the current year.

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Brown & Brown Company Profile

Brown & Brown, Inc markets and sells insurance products in the United States, England, Canada, Bermuda, and the Cayman Islands. Its Retail segment offers property insurance relating to physical damage to property and resultant interruption of business, or extra expense caused by fire, windstorm, or other perils; casualty insurance relating to legal liabilities, professional liability, cyber-liability, workers' compensation, and commercial and private passenger automobile coverages; fidelity and surety bonds; and life, accident, disability, health, hospitalization, medical, dental, and other ancillary insurance products, as well as risk management, loss control surveys and analysis, consultation, and claims processing services.

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