Hartford Financial Services Group Inc (NYSE:HIG) was the recipient of a significant drop in short interest in July. As of July 15th, there was short interest totalling 4,498,300 shares, a drop of 9.9% from the June 15th total of 4,990,700 shares. Based on an average daily trading volume, of 2,090,000 shares, the short-interest ratio is currently 2.2 days. Currently, 1.3% of the shares of the stock are sold short.

Shares of HIG traded down $0.61 during trading on Monday, reaching $57.53. 1,162,586 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 1,622,028. Hartford Financial Services Group has a twelve month low of $40.54 and a twelve month high of $58.22. The firm has a market cap of $21.02 billion, a PE ratio of 13.29, a PEG ratio of 1.21 and a beta of 0.68. The business’s 50-day moving average is $56.20. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.27, a quick ratio of 0.32 and a current ratio of 0.32.

Hartford Financial Services Group (NYSE:HIG) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, May 1st. The insurance provider reported $1.39 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.24 by $0.15. Hartford Financial Services Group had a net margin of 9.58% and a return on equity of 12.46%. The business had revenue of $4.94 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $4.84 billion. During the same period last year, the business earned $1.27 earnings per share. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 5.3% on a year-over-year basis. Sell-side analysts predict that Hartford Financial Services Group will post 5.07 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, October 1st. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, September 3rd will be given a dividend of $0.30 per share. This represents a $1.20 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.09%. The ex-dividend date is Friday, August 30th. Hartford Financial Services Group’s dividend payout ratio is presently 27.71%.

In related news, insider Martha Gervasi sold 3,672 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, July 17th. The shares were sold at an average price of $57.95, for a total transaction of $212,792.40. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 18,882 shares in the company, valued at $1,094,211.90. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, EVP Robert W. Paiano sold 5,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, May 15th. The stock was sold at an average price of $52.40, for a total transaction of $262,000.00. Following the sale, the executive vice president now owns 33,342 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,747,120.80. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders sold 95,998 shares of company stock worth $5,289,543. Insiders own 1.70% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in HIG. Louisiana State Employees Retirement System grew its holdings in shares of Hartford Financial Services Group by 1.1% in the first quarter. Louisiana State Employees Retirement System now owns 19,000 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $945,000 after purchasing an additional 200 shares in the last quarter. Moors & Cabot Inc. grew its holdings in shares of Hartford Financial Services Group by 1.6% in the second quarter. Moors & Cabot Inc. now owns 14,247 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $798,000 after purchasing an additional 225 shares in the last quarter. Palladium Partners LLC grew its holdings in shares of Hartford Financial Services Group by 1.3% in the first quarter. Palladium Partners LLC now owns 19,128 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $951,000 after purchasing an additional 250 shares in the last quarter. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund grew its holdings in shares of Hartford Financial Services Group by 0.3% in the first quarter. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund now owns 84,776 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $4,215,000 after purchasing an additional 295 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Riverview Trust Co grew its holdings in shares of Hartford Financial Services Group by 55.8% in the first quarter. Riverview Trust Co now owns 849 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $42,000 after purchasing an additional 304 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 90.30% of the company’s stock.

Several equities research analysts recently issued reports on HIG shares. Buckingham Research raised their price objective on shares of Hartford Financial Services Group from $60.00 to $63.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, July 19th. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of GreenTree Hospitality Group from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Monday, May 20th. Goldman Sachs Group upgraded shares of Koninklijke KPN from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, May 29th. Morgan Stanley set a $620.00 price objective on shares of Intuitive Surgical and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, July 19th. Finally, B. Riley set a $20.00 price objective on shares of AMC Entertainment and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, June 26th. Five analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eleven have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $60.31.

About Hartford Financial Services Group

The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc, through its subsidiaries, provides insurance and financial services to individual and business customers in the United States. Its Commercial Lines segment offers workers' compensation, property, automobile, marine, livestock, liability, and umbrella coverages; and customized insurance products and risk management services, including professional liability, bond, surety, and specialty casualty coverages.

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