Progressive Corp. (NYSE:PGR) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report issued on Monday.

According to Zacks, “Progressive Corp.’s growth could be challenged by intense competition. Increasing combined ratio, underperforming commercial auto business pose near-term headwinds. In fact the Zacks Consensus Estimate for both 206 and 2017 witnessed downward revision over the last 60 days. The same declined 4.7% for 2016 and 1.9% for 2017, over the same time frame. Nonetheless, the company strives to become a one-stop insurance shopping destination by catering to customers opting for a combination of home and auto. To this end, the company acquired the majority stake in ARX Holdings, which is now bearing fruit, thereby raising further optimism about the future. The company remains focused on paying back its shareholders via dividends as well as share repurchases that lower share count and boost the bottom line. The company has also been witnessing improving premiums.”

Several other research analysts have also recently issued reports on PGR. Credit Suisse Group AG set a $28.00 price objective on shares of Progressive Corp. and gave the company a “sell” rating in a report on Saturday. Citigroup Inc. cut shares of Progressive Corp. from a “neutral” rating to a “sell” rating and decreased their price objective for the company from $36.00 to $31.00 in a report on Thursday, June 2nd. FBR & Co reiterated a “hold” rating on shares of Progressive Corp. in a report on Thursday, June 16th. Argus reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $33.00 price objective on shares of Progressive Corp. in a report on Monday, July 18th. Finally, Keefe, Bruyette & Woods upgraded shares of Progressive Corp. from an “underperform” rating to a “market perform” rating and increased their price objective for the company from $29.00 to $31.00 in a report on Thursday, September 15th. Five analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have issued a hold rating, two have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $32.14.

Analyst Recommendations for Progressive Corp. (NYSE:PGR)

Progressive Corp. (NYSE:PGR) opened at 31.02 on Monday. The firm has a market capitalization of $18.05 billion, a P/E ratio of 17.23 and a beta of 0.75. Progressive Corp. has a one year low of $29.32 and a one year high of $35.54. The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $32.58 and a 200 day moving average price of $33.08.

Progressive Corp. (NYSE:PGR) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, July 14th. The company reported $0.33 EPS for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.34 by $0.01. The firm earned $5.93 billion during the quarter. Progressive Corp. had a return on equity of 13.57% and a net margin of 4.80%. The company’s revenue was up 13.1% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the business posted $0.62 EPS. Equities research analysts anticipate that Progressive Corp. will post $1.61 earnings per share for the current year.

In other Progressive Corp. news, insider Michael D. Sieger sold 3,200 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, July 22nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $32.93, for a total value of $105,376.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 49,755 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,638,432.15. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, insider M Jeffrey Charney sold 7,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, September 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $32.50, for a total transaction of $227,500.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 71,961 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,338,732.50. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.60% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Evercore Wealth Management LLC increased its stake in Progressive Corp. by 4.2% in the second quarter. Evercore Wealth Management LLC now owns 27,854 shares of the company’s stock worth $933,000 after buying an additional 1,121 shares during the last quarter. Kentucky Retirement Systems Insurance Trust Fund bought a new stake in Progressive Corp. during the second quarter worth about $789,000. Kentucky Retirement Systems bought a new stake in Progressive Corp. during the second quarter worth about $1,661,000. Mason Street Advisors LLC bought a new stake in Progressive Corp. during the second quarter worth about $2,631,000. Finally, Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Co. increased its stake in Progressive Corp. by 1,054.0% in the second quarter. Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Co. now owns 67,544 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,262,000 after buying an additional 61,691 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 76.53% of the company’s stock.

Progressive Corp. Company Profile

The Progressive Corporation is an insurance holding company. The Company’s insurance subsidiaries and affiliates provide personal and commercial automobile and property insurance, other specialty property-casualty insurance and related services. The Company operates through Personal Lines, Commercial Lines and Property segments.

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