Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of XL Group (NYSE:XL) from a strong sell rating to a hold rating in a research report released on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “XL Group holds a premier position in global specialty insurance and reinsurance markets owing to the acquisition of Catlin Group in 2015. XL Group remains focused on its insurance and reinsurance business lines that provide the best return on capital over the pricing cycle, while focusing on tapping opportunities in the emerging economies. XL Group also engages in shareholder-friendly moves and estimates not less than $700 million shares in buy back in 2017.  However, exposure to catastrophes inducing volatility to underwriting results will continue to raise concerns. Negative pricing across business lines as well as increasing expenses remain headwinds. Shares of XL Group underperformed the industry year to date and the company also witnessed 2017 and 2018 estimates moving south in the last 60 days.”

Several other research analysts also recently issued reports on XL. Citigroup lifted their price objective on XL Group from $40.00 to $41.00 and gave the stock a neutral rating in a research report on Thursday, November 2nd. Bank of America cut their price objective on XL Group from $49.00 to $47.00 and set a buy rating for the company in a research report on Thursday, October 12th. UBS cut their price objective on XL Group from $46.00 to $44.00 and set a buy rating for the company in a research report on Monday, October 2nd. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods restated a buy rating and set a $50.00 price objective on shares of XL Group in a research report on Thursday, September 21st. Finally, BidaskClub downgraded XL Group from a strong-buy rating to a buy rating in a research report on Monday, July 31st. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have issued a hold rating and seven have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock has an average rating of Hold and an average target price of $45.50.

Shares of XL Group (NYSE:XL) opened at $38.82 on Tuesday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.28, a quick ratio of 0.35 and a current ratio of 0.35. XL Group has a 52 week low of $35.70 and a 52 week high of $47.27.

XL Group (NYSE:XL) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, October 24th. The insurance provider reported ($4.00) EPS for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of ($3.91) by ($0.09). The firm had revenue of $2.33 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.11 billion. XL Group had a negative return on equity of 4.03% and a negative net margin of 2.51%. XL Group’s revenue was up 9.0% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the firm earned $0.44 EPS. equities research analysts anticipate that XL Group will post -1.47 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, January 2nd. Stockholders of record on Friday, December 15th will be issued a dividend of $0.22 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, December 14th. This represents a $0.88 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.27%. XL Group’s payout ratio is -71.54%.

Hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. IFP Advisors Inc boosted its position in XL Group by 19.9% in the 2nd quarter. IFP Advisors Inc now owns 2,317 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $101,000 after buying an additional 384 shares during the last quarter. Manchester Capital Management LLC purchased a new position in XL Group in the 2nd quarter valued at about $120,000. Advisor Group Inc. boosted its position in XL Group by 22.1% in the 2nd quarter. Advisor Group Inc. now owns 4,122 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $180,000 after buying an additional 747 shares during the last quarter. Group One Trading L.P. purchased a new position in XL Group in the 2nd quarter valued at about $192,000. Finally, Pinnacle Financial Partners Inc. purchased a new position in XL Group in the 2nd quarter valued at about $202,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 99.06% of the company’s stock.

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XL Group Company Profile

XL Group plc is an insurance and reinsurance company providing property, casualty and specialty products to industrial, commercial and professional firms, insurance companies and other enterprises. The Company operates through two segments: Insurance and Reinsurance. The Company’s Insurance segment is organized into four product divisions: Global Casualty (Casualty); Global Energy Property, & Construction (EPC); Global Professional (Professional), and Global Specialty (Specialty).

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