Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Arthur J Gallagher & Co (NYSE:AJG) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report issued on Monday. Zacks Investment Research currently has $71.00 price objective on the financial services provider’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Arthur J. Gallagher have outperformed the industry, in a year's time. 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, escalating expenses and weak commercial P&C rates pose concerns. Adverse foreign exchange also will weigh on results. It is set to release fourth quarter results on Jan 25. A Zacks Rank #2 increases the predictive power of a beat, but combined with the Earnings ESP of -0.45%, makes prediction difficult.”

AJG has been the topic of a number of other reports. Credit Suisse Group raised their price target on shares of Arthur J Gallagher & Co from $68.00 to $69.00 and gave the stock an outperform rating in a research report on Friday, October 27th. Wells Fargo & Co reaffirmed a buy rating and set a $66.00 price target on shares of Arthur J Gallagher & Co in a research report on Sunday, September 17th. Royal Bank of Canada reaffirmed a hold rating and set a $64.00 price target on shares of Arthur J Gallagher & Co in a research report on Friday, December 8th. Deutsche Bank lowered shares of 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 report on Wednesday, October 4th. Finally, ValuEngine lowered shares of Arthur J Gallagher & Co from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report on Friday, December 1st. Five analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and seven have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of Buy and an average price target of $68.22.

Arthur J Gallagher & Co (AJG) traded down $0.02 during trading hours on Monday, reaching $64.03. 782,200 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 833,792. Arthur J Gallagher & Co has a 1-year low of $52.51 and a 1-year high of $67.32. The company has a market capitalization of $11,580.18, a price-to-earnings ratio of 25.61, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.72 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 (NYSE:AJG) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, October 26th. The financial services provider reported $0.81 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.79 by $0.02. Arthur J Gallagher & Co had a net margin of 7.62% and a return on equity of 13.56%. The business had revenue of $1.58 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.60 billion. During the same period last year, the firm earned $0.77 earnings per share. Arthur J Gallagher & Co’s revenue for the quarter was up 6.9% compared to the same quarter last year. analysts anticipate that Arthur J Gallagher & Co will post 2.99 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In other news, Director Frank E. Jr. English sold 1,500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, November 3rd. The shares were 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 transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, VP Scott R. Hudson sold 7,600 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, December 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $65.29, for a total transaction 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. Corporate insiders own 1.60% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of AJG. Invictus RG acquired a new stake in shares of Arthur J Gallagher & Co in the 3rd quarter valued at approximately $130,000. Eagle Boston Investment Management Inc. acquired a new stake in shares of Arthur J Gallagher & Co in the 3rd quarter valued at approximately $201,000. Coldstream Capital Management Inc. acquired a new stake in shares of Arthur J Gallagher & Co in the 2nd quarter valued at approximately $202,000. Doyle Wealth Management acquired a new stake in shares of Arthur J Gallagher & Co in the 3rd quarter valued at approximately $203,000. Finally, Dai Ichi Life Insurance Company Ltd acquired a new stake in shares of Arthur J Gallagher & Co in the 3rd quarter valued at approximately $218,000. Institutional investors own 82.52% of the company’s stock.

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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.

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

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