Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Loews (NYSE:L) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report published on Friday morning. They currently have $57.00 target price on the insurance provider’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Loews have outperformed the industry in a year. Loews Hotels remains on growth track as most properties witnessed a higher income. The Boardwalk unit is poised to capitalize on increasing exports of natural gas and pipeline exports to Mexico as well as industrial demand for natural gas and liquids. Addition of Consolidated Container will strengthen its network of manufacturing locations throughout the U.S. Market. With new drilling rigs that are contracted through 2019 and demand for oil growing, Loews remains optimistic over the medium and long term. However, weakening ultra-deepwater and deepwater markets might dampen Diamond Offshore results. The company witnessed its 2017 estimates moving north while the same for 2018 moved south in the last 60 days.”

Separately, ValuEngine downgraded Loews from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report on Thursday, October 26th.

Shares of Loews (NYSE:L) traded down $0.10 during trading hours on Friday, hitting $50.62. The stock had a trading volume of 1,089,200 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,116,500. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.46, a current ratio of 0.35 and a quick ratio of 0.35. The firm has a market capitalization of $17,040.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 17.58 and a beta of 0.74. Loews has a 12-month low of $45.01 and a 12-month high of $51.02.

Loews (NYSE:L) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Monday, October 30th. The insurance provider reported $0.46 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.02 by $0.44. The firm had revenue of $3.52 billion for the quarter. Loews had a return on equity of 4.08% and a net margin of 7.04%. The business’s revenue was up 7.1% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $0.89 earnings per share. analysts forecast that Loews will post 2.8 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, December 12th. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, November 29th were issued a dividend of $0.0625 per share. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, November 28th. This represents a $0.25 annualized dividend and a yield of 0.49%. Loews’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 8.68%.

In related news, Director Ann E. Berman sold 1,383 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, November 29th. The stock was sold at an average price of $50.30, for a total value of $69,564.90. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, insider Jonathan M. Tisch sold 1,394,935 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, October 31st. The shares were sold at an average price of $48.40, for a total value of $67,514,854.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 2,169,075 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $104,983,230. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last 90 days, insiders have sold 1,422,163 shares of company stock worth $68,876,567. 11.80% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in L. Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Co. raised its stake in shares of Loews by 6.7% during the 2nd quarter. Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Co. now owns 2,240 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $105,000 after buying an additional 140 shares in the last quarter. Acrospire Investment Management LLC purchased a new position in Loews in the 2nd quarter valued at approximately $131,000. D.A. Davidson & CO. increased its stake in Loews by 1.0% in the 2nd quarter. D.A. Davidson & CO. now owns 2,828 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $132,000 after purchasing an additional 27 shares in the last quarter. Saratoga Research & Investment Management purchased a new position in Loews in the 3rd quarter valued at approximately $176,000. Finally, Advisor Group Inc. increased its stake in Loews by 31.8% in the 2nd quarter. Advisor Group Inc. now owns 3,923 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $183,000 after purchasing an additional 947 shares in the last quarter. 59.26% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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Loews Company Profile

Loews Corporation is a holding company. The Company, through its subsidiaries, is engaged in commercial property and casualty insurance; operation of offshore oil and gas drilling rigs; transportation and storage of natural gas and natural gas liquids, and operation of a chain of hotels. The Company has five segments consisted of its four individual operating subsidiaries, CNA Financial Corporation (CNA), Diamond Offshore Drilling, Inc (Diamond Offshore), Boardwalk Pipeline Partners, LP (Boardwalk Pipeline) and Loews Hotels Holding Corporation (Loews Hotels), and the Corporate segment.

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