Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. (The) (NYSE:HIG) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note issued to investors on Tuesday morning.

According to Zacks, “Being a property & casualty insurer, Hartford Financial is always exposed to catastrophe challenges. The company’s underwriting results have been affected by catastrophic losses over past many years. Moreover, the company’s top line has been severely affected by its Talcott Resolution segment that has been a drag over quite a few quarters. Weak Personal Lines segment has also remained a major headwind. Softness in these two segments have adversely affected the company’s top and bottom line. The company has seen its Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2018 earnings being revised downward in the past seven days. Although the shares have slightly outperformed the industry in the past three months, the company’s headwinds are likely to put the stock price under pressure going forward.”

A number of other equities research analysts have also recently issued reports on the stock. BidaskClub cut shares of Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. (The) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report on Friday, August 25th. Deutsche Bank AG reissued a buy rating and set a $61.00 target price (up from $60.00) on shares of Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. (The) in a research report on Tuesday, August 1st. Credit Suisse Group set a $51.00 target price on Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. (The) and gave the company a hold rating in a report on Tuesday, June 6th. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods restated a buy rating and set a $60.00 target price on shares of Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. (The) in a report on Thursday, August 31st. Finally, Wells Fargo & Company reaffirmed a hold rating on shares of Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. (The) in a research report on Friday, July 28th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have given a hold rating and eight have issued a buy rating to the company. Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. (The) currently has an average rating of Buy and an average price target of $57.00.

Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. (HIG) traded up 0.65% during mid-day trading on Tuesday, reaching $55.78. 431,796 shares of the company were exchanged. The company has a market cap of $20.32 billion, a P/E ratio of 30.61 and a beta of 0.91. Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. has a 12 month low of $42.30 and a 12 month high of $57.16. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $54.53 and its 200-day moving average is $51.71.

Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. (The) (NYSE:HIG) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, July 27th. The insurance provider reported $1.04 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.94 by $0.10. Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. (The) had a net margin of 3.73% and a return on equity of 9.13%. The company had revenue of $4.77 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $4.30 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $0.31 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 2.0% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities analysts expect that Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. will post $3.75 earnings per share for the current year.

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The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, October 2nd. Investors of record on Friday, September 1st were given a dividend of $0.23 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, August 30th. This represents a $0.92 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.66%. Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. (The)’s dividend payout ratio is presently 51.40%.

Large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. increased its position in Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. (The) by 14.4% in the 1st quarter. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. now owns 1,632,946 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $78,496,000 after buying an additional 205,558 shares during the period. Pacer Advisors Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. (The) by 3.2% during the first quarter. Pacer Advisors Inc. now owns 7,194 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $346,000 after buying an additional 226 shares during the last quarter. Stifel Financial Corp lifted its holdings in shares of Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. (The) by 4.0% during the first quarter. Stifel Financial Corp now owns 58,777 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $2,825,000 after buying an additional 2,252 shares during the last quarter. Cibc World Markets Corp lifted its holdings in shares of Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. (The) by 50.5% during the first quarter. Cibc World Markets Corp now owns 39,037 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $1,877,000 after buying an additional 13,105 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Neuberger Berman Group LLC lifted its holdings in shares of Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. (The) by 4.2% during the first quarter. Neuberger Berman Group LLC now owns 50,621 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $2,433,000 after buying an additional 2,061 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 88.23% of the company’s stock.

About Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. (The)

Analyst Recommendations for Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. (The) (NYSE:HIG)

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