Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Arthur J Gallagher & Co (NYSE:AJG) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report released on Wednesday. Zacks Investment Research currently has $70.00 price target on the financial services provider’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Arthur J. Gallagher have outperformed the industry, year to date. The company also witnessed its 2017 and 2018 estimates moving north in the last 60 days. Arthur J. Gallagher’s inorganic story seems impressive with strategic buyouts, with the company intending to pursue smaller tuck-in mergers in 2017. It remains focused on tapping opportunities in the U.K., Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the U.S. The company remains focused on enhancing productivity and quality that is a part of its value creation strategy. A solid performance is leading to sufficient cash flows help it deploy capital in shareholder-friendly moves. However, ecalating expenses and weak commercial P&C rates pose concerns. Adverse foreign exchange also will weigh on results.”

Other equities analysts have also recently issued reports about the company. Wells Fargo & Co set a $74.00 price target on Arthur J Gallagher & Co and gave the stock a buy rating in a research note on Wednesday, December 20th. Barclays lifted their price target on Arthur J Gallagher & Co from $68.00 to $70.00 and gave the stock an overweight rating in a research note on Monday, October 16th. Royal Bank of Canada reaffirmed a hold rating and issued a $59.00 price target on shares of Arthur J Gallagher & Co in a research note on Tuesday, October 10th. Deutsche Bank cut Arthur J Gallagher & Co from a buy rating to a hold rating and set a $64.00 price target on the stock. in a research note on Wednesday, October 4th. Finally, ValuEngine cut Arthur J Gallagher & Co from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note on Friday, December 1st. Five equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and seven have assigned a buy rating to the company. Arthur J Gallagher & Co currently has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $68.11.

Arthur J Gallagher & Co (NYSE:AJG) opened at $63.22 on Wednesday. The firm has a market capitalization of $11,370.00, a PE ratio of 25.29, a P/E/G ratio of 2.11 and a beta of 1.23. The company has a current ratio of 1.08, a quick ratio of 1.08 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.66. Arthur J Gallagher & Co has a 1-year low of $51.60 and a 1-year high of $67.32.

Arthur J Gallagher & Co (NYSE:AJG) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, October 26th. The financial services provider reported $0.81 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.79 by $0.02. The company had revenue of $1.58 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.60 billion. Arthur J Gallagher & Co had a return on equity of 13.56% and a net margin of 7.62%. Arthur J Gallagher & Co’s revenue for the quarter was up 6.9% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the firm posted $0.77 EPS. research analysts anticipate that Arthur J Gallagher & Co will post 2.99 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, December 15th. Stockholders of record on Friday, December 1st were given a $0.39 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, November 30th. This represents a $1.56 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.47%. Arthur J Gallagher & Co’s dividend payout ratio is currently 62.40%.

In other news, Director Frank E. Jr. English sold 1,500 shares of Arthur J Gallagher & Co stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, November 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $63.67, for a total value of $95,505.00. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 10,600 shares in the company, valued at approximately $674,902. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through this link. Also, VP Scott R. Hudson sold 7,600 shares of Arthur J Gallagher & Co stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, December 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $65.29, for a total value of $496,204.00. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now owns 25,027 shares in the company, valued at $1,634,012.83. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 1.60% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the company. Citadel Advisors LLC boosted its position in shares of Arthur J Gallagher & Co by 785.9% during the second quarter. Citadel Advisors LLC now owns 2,362,782 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $135,269,000 after purchasing an additional 2,096,062 shares in the last quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC raised its stake in Arthur J Gallagher & Co by 8,471.3% during the second quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 1,852,944 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $106,081,000 after buying an additional 1,831,326 shares during the last quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. raised its stake in Arthur J Gallagher & Co by 97.9% during the second quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 1,242,484 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $71,132,000 after buying an additional 614,788 shares during the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its stake in Arthur J Gallagher & Co by 3.2% during the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 18,149,660 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $1,039,067,000 after buying an additional 571,235 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Renaissance Technologies LLC raised its stake in Arthur J Gallagher & Co by 927.7% during the second quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 408,000 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $23,358,000 after buying an additional 368,300 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 82.47% of the company’s stock.

COPYRIGHT VIOLATION WARNING: This piece was published by Daily Political and is owned by of Daily Political. If you are viewing this piece on another website, it was illegally copied and reposted in violation of United States and international copyright & trademark laws. The original version of this piece can be accessed at https://www.dailypolitical.com/2017/12/28/arthur-j-gallagher-co-ajg-upgraded-to-buy-by-zacks-investment-research.html.

About Arthur J Gallagher & Co

Arthur J. Gallagher & Co and its subsidiaries are engaged in providing insurance brokerage and consulting services, and third-party claims settlement and administration services to both domestic and international entities. The Company operates through three segments: brokerage, risk management and corporate.

Analyst Recommendations for Arthur J Gallagher & Co (NYSE:AJG)

Receive News & Ratings for Arthur J Gallagher & Co Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for Arthur J Gallagher & Co and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.