Zacks Investment Research Downgrades Argo Group (NASDAQ:AGII) to Strong Sell

Argo Group (NASDAQ:AGII) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a report released on Tuesday, April 17th.

According to Zacks, “PXRE Group Ltd. provides reinsurance products and services to a worldwide marketplace. They primarily emphasize commercial and personal property and casualty reinsurance risks, and offer both broker-based and direct-writing distribution capabilities. PXRE also provides marine and aerospace reinsurance products and services. “

AGII has been the subject of several other reports. BidaskClub raised shares of Argo Group from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, January 16th. ValuEngine upgraded Argo Group from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, March 13th. Finally, Keefe, Bruyette & Woods restated a “buy” rating and issued a $62.00 price target on shares of Argo Group in a research report on Friday, February 23rd.

Shares of AGII stock opened at $58.40 on Tuesday. The firm has a market cap of $1,983.66, a PE ratio of -139.05 and a beta of 0.62. Argo Group has a 12 month low of $49.69 and a 12 month high of $60.80. The company has a current ratio of 0.52, a quick ratio of 0.52 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.22.

Argo Group (NASDAQ:AGII) last posted its earnings results on Tuesday, February 13th. The insurance provider reported ($0.66) earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of ($0.51) by ($0.15). Argo Group had a net margin of 2.84% and a negative return on equity of 0.80%. The company had revenue of $441.60 million for the quarter. analysts expect that Argo Group will post 3.34 earnings per share for the current year.

In related news, Director John R. Power, Jr. sold 4,108 shares of Argo Group stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, March 5th. The stock was sold at an average price of $61.09, for a total transaction of $250,957.72. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 19,593 shares in the company, valued at $1,196,936.37. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, CEO Mark E. Watson III sold 8,800 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, February 20th. The stock was sold at an average price of $59.74, for a total value of $525,712.00. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 543,056 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $32,442,165.44. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 36,544 shares of company stock worth $2,092,498 in the last quarter. 4.86% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Several institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Xact Kapitalforvaltning AB acquired a new position in shares of Argo Group in the 4th quarter valued at $735,000. Sterling Capital Management LLC lifted its stake in Argo Group by 44.1% during the 4th quarter. Sterling Capital Management LLC now owns 35,766 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $2,205,000 after acquiring an additional 10,942 shares in the last quarter. Dean Capital Management purchased a new stake in Argo Group during the 4th quarter worth about $4,410,000. Millennium Management LLC increased its holdings in Argo Group by 27.3% during the 4th quarter. Millennium Management LLC now owns 175,731 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $10,834,000 after purchasing an additional 37,698 shares during the period. Finally, Hillcrest Asset Management LLC purchased a new stake in Argo Group during the 4th quarter worth about $10,644,000. 79.74% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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Argo Group Company Profile

Argo Group International Holdings, Ltd. underwrites specialty insurance and reinsurance products in the property and casualty markets. The company operates in two segments, U.S. Operations and International Operations. The U.S. Operations segment underwrites primary and excess specialty casualty, and commercial multi-peril, as well as contract, product, environmental, and auto liability products; and workers compensation, general, management, errors and omissions, and public entity liability risks.

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