American Equity Investment Life Holding Co. (NYSE:AEL) shares shot up 7% during trading on Friday . The stock traded as high as $14.80 and last traded at $14.73, with a volume of 212,109 shares. The stock had previously closed at $13.76.

Several brokerages have recently commented on AEL. Citigroup Inc. reduced their target price on American Equity Investment Life Holding from $20.00 to $18.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a research note on Thursday. Evercore ISI began coverage on American Equity Investment Life Holding in a research note on Wednesday. They set a “buy” rating for the company. Zacks Investment Research downgraded American Equity Investment Life Holding from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Tuesday, June 28th. Jefferies Group upgraded American Equity Investment Life Holding from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, June 6th. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. upgraded American Equity Investment Life Holding from a “neutral” rating to an “overweight” rating and reduced their target price for the stock from $23.00 to $20.00 in a research note on Monday, June 6th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have issued a hold rating and seven have assigned a buy rating to the company. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $23.67.

The firm’s 50-day moving average is $15.35 and its 200 day moving average is $16.03. The company has a market capitalization of $1.21 billion and a PE ratio of 7.11.

American Equity Investment Life Holding (NYSE:AEL) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, April 27th. The company reported $0.25 EPS for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.62 by $0.37. The firm earned $417.60 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $473.67 million. The firm’s revenue was up 2.1% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the business posted $0.62 earnings per share. Equities analysts anticipate that American Equity Investment Life Holding Co. will post $2.12 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In other news, Director Alexander Meeker Clark sold 5,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, June 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $16.66, for a total value of $83,300.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 8,500 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $141,610. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website.

Several hedge funds recently modified their holdings of the company. Sei Investments Co. increased its stake in shares of American Equity Investment Life Holding by 17.3% in the fourth quarter. Sei Investments Co. now owns 75,636 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,817,000 after buying an additional 11,166 shares during the period. Rhumbline Advisers increased its stake in shares of American Equity Investment Life Holding by 4.6% in the fourth quarter. Rhumbline Advisers now owns 133,755 shares of the company’s stock worth $3,214,000 after buying an additional 5,855 shares during the last quarter. Engineers Gate Manager LP acquired a new stake in shares of American Equity Investment Life Holding during the fourth quarter worth approximately $1,602,000. California Public Employees Retirement System increased its stake in shares of American Equity Investment Life Holding by 1.0% in the fourth quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 253,511 shares of the company’s stock worth $6,092,000 after buying an additional 2,500 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Cornerstone Capital Management Holdings LLC. acquired a new stake in shares of American Equity Investment Life Holding during the fourth quarter worth approximately $1,845,000.

American Equity Investment Life Holding Company is engaged in the development and sale of fixed index and fixed rate annuity products. The Company issues fixed annuity and life insurance products through its wholly owned life insurance subsidiaries, American Equity Investment Life Insurance Company (American Equity Life), American Equity Investment Life Insurance Company of New York and Eagle Life Insurance Company (Eagle Life).

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