Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of HCI Group (NYSE:HCI) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research report sent to investors on Wednesday.

According to Zacks, “HCI Group, Inc. is a holding company that conducts its business activities through its subsidiaries. It is engaged in diverse business activities, including property and casualty insurance, information technology, real estate and reinsurance. The company, through its largest subsidiary, Homeowners Choice Property & Casualty Insurance Company, Inc., provides property and casualty insurance. Its insurance product includes property and casualty homeowners insurance, condominium-owners’ insurance and tenants insurance to individuals owning property. HCI Group, Inc., formerly known as Homeowners Choice, Inc., is headquartered in Tampa, Florida. “

HCI has been the subject of a number of other research reports. TheStreet lowered shares of HCI Group from a b- rating to a c rating in a research report on Thursday, September 28th. ValuEngine raised shares of HCI Group from a buy rating to a strong-buy rating in a research report on Wednesday, September 13th. Finally, Sidoti raised shares of HCI Group from a neutral rating to a buy rating and set a $40.00 price objective for the company in a research report on Monday, September 11th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, two have given a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the company. HCI Group presently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $43.33.

Shares of HCI Group (NYSE:HCI) traded up $0.30 on Wednesday, reaching $31.24. 73,100 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 147,933. The company has a current ratio of 0.61, a quick ratio of 0.61 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.22. The firm has a market capitalization of $302.65, a PE ratio of -16.53 and a beta of 2.18. HCI Group has a one year low of $27.11 and a one year high of $50.93.

HCI Group (NYSE:HCI) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, November 2nd. The insurance provider reported ($4.44) earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of ($2.52) by ($1.92). The business had revenue of $44.00 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $66.46 million. HCI Group had a negative return on equity of 6.34% and a negative net margin of 5.63%. The business’s revenue was down 30.5% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $1.10 EPS. research analysts predict that HCI Group will post -0.4 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

HCI Group announced that its board has initiated a stock repurchase program on Wednesday, December 6th that allows the company to buyback $20.00 million in shares. This buyback authorization allows the insurance provider to purchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are typically an indication that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, December 15th. Investors of record on Friday, November 17th were issued a $0.35 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, November 16th. This represents a $1.40 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 4.48%. HCI Group’s payout ratio is -74.07%.

In other news, Director James J. Macchiarola bought 6,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, November 27th. The stock was acquired at an average cost of $30.44 per share, for a total transaction of $182,640.00. The acquisition was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, CEO Paresh Patel bought 1,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, December 8th. The stock was purchased at an average price of $30.30 per share, with a total value of $30,300.00. Following the completion of the purchase, the chief executive officer now directly owns 74,000 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,242,200. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders have acquired 13,000 shares of company stock valued at $391,360. 20.37% of the stock is owned by insiders.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP raised its holdings in HCI Group by 2.6% in the third quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 832,371 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $31,838,000 after acquiring an additional 21,016 shares in the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its holdings in HCI Group by 10.7% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 608,144 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $28,571,000 after acquiring an additional 58,766 shares in the last quarter. LSV Asset Management raised its holdings in HCI Group by 40.4% in the second quarter. LSV Asset Management now owns 549,934 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $25,835,000 after acquiring an additional 158,380 shares in the last quarter. Schroder Investment Management Group raised its holdings in HCI Group by 4.9% in the second quarter. Schroder Investment Management Group now owns 462,396 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $22,056,000 after acquiring an additional 21,800 shares in the last quarter. Finally, State Street Corp raised its holdings in HCI Group by 0.7% in the second quarter. State Street Corp now owns 210,029 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $9,864,000 after acquiring an additional 1,542 shares in the last quarter. 76.38% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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HCI Group Company Profile

HCI Group, Inc (HCI) is an insurance holding company. The Company operates through four operating divisions: property and casualty insurance, reinsurance, investment real estate and information technology. Its operations include Insurance Operations and Other Operations. Its Insurance Operations include property and casualty insurance, and reinsurance.

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