First American Financial (FAF) Rating Lowered to Strong Sell at Zacks Investment Research

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Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of First American Financial (NYSE:FAF) from a hold rating to a strong sell rating in a report published on Tuesday morning.

According to Zacks, “First American Financial Corporation provides financial services through its Title Insurance and Services segment and its Specialty Insurance segment. The Title Insurance and Services segment provides title insurance policies and provides escrow and real estate closing services on residential and commercial property. It also maintains, manages, and provides access to automated title plant records and images; accommodates tax-deferred exchanges of real estate; and provides investment advisory, trust, lending, and deposit services. The Specialty Insurance segment offers property and casualty insurance, including homeowners insurance, as well as provides home warranty policies. This segment markets its property and casualty insurance products through direct distribution channels, including employees and agents, as well as a network of brokers. First American Financial Corporation is based in Santa Ana, California. “

A number of other equities research analysts have also recently weighed in on the company. ValuEngine cut First American Financial from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report on Wednesday, September 19th. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods upgraded First American Financial from a market perform rating to an outperform rating and set a $39.00 price target on the stock in a report on Monday, July 16th. Finally, Piper Jaffray Companies upped their price target on First American Financial from $63.00 to $65.00 and gave the stock a neutral rating in a report on Friday, July 27th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, one has issued a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $57.50.

Shares of FAF traded down $0.02 on Tuesday, reaching $46.56. The stock had a trading volume of 479,981 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,104,996. The stock has a market cap of $5.21 billion, a P/E ratio of 16.93, a P/E/G ratio of 0.80 and a beta of 0.84. First American Financial has a twelve month low of $41.96 and a twelve month high of $62.71.

First American Financial (NYSE:FAF) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, October 25th. The insurance provider reported $1.26 earnings per share for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.28 by ($0.02). The firm had revenue of $1.54 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.55 billion. First American Financial had a return on equity of 13.68% and a net margin of 10.39%. As a group, equities analysts expect that First American Financial will post 4.47 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, December 17th. Investors of record on Monday, December 10th will be paid a $0.42 dividend. This represents a $1.68 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.61%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, December 7th. First American Financial’s payout ratio is currently 61.09%.

In related news, insider Matthew F. Wajner sold 4,982 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, August 21st. The stock was sold at an average price of $57.29, for a total value of $285,418.78. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, EVP Kenneth D. Degiorgio sold 13,871 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, August 21st. The shares were sold at an average price of $57.25, for a total value of $794,114.75. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 3.00% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

A number of hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of FAF. Parallel Advisors LLC lifted its stake in First American Financial by 139.9% in the 3rd quarter. Parallel Advisors LLC now owns 3,498 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $180,000 after buying an additional 2,040 shares in the last quarter. Itau Unibanco Holding S.A. purchased a new position in shares of First American Financial during the 2nd quarter worth $265,000. Campbell & CO Investment Adviser LLC purchased a new position in shares of First American Financial during the 3rd quarter worth $304,000. HPM Partners LLC purchased a new position in shares of First American Financial during the 2nd quarter worth $319,000. Finally, Private Advisor Group LLC purchased a new position in shares of First American Financial during the 2nd quarter worth $333,000. 83.38% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

First American Financial Company Profile

First American Financial Corp. operates as an insurance company. It provides title insurance and settlement services to the real estate and mortgage industries. The company operates its business through the following segments: Title Insurance & Services and Specialty Insurance. The Title Insurance & Services segment provides title insurance, escrow, closing services and similar or related financial services domestically and internationally in connection with residential and commercial real estate transactions.

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