Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of HCI Group (NYSE:HCI) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report issued on Tuesday morning. They currently have $40.00 price target on the insurance provider’s stock.

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. “

Separately, ValuEngine cut HCI Group from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report on Thursday, November 9th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, one has issued a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. HCI Group currently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average price target of $42.50.

Shares of HCI Group (NYSE HCI) opened at $35.65 on Tuesday. HCI Group has a twelve month low of $27.11 and a twelve month high of $50.93. The company has a market capitalization of $348.73, a P/E ratio of -21.61 and a beta of 2.25. The company has a current ratio of 0.61, a quick ratio of 0.61 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.22.

HCI Group announced that its Board of Directors has approved a stock buyback program on Wednesday, December 6th that permits the company to buyback $20.00 million in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization permits the insurance provider to buy shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are usually an indication that the company’s board of directors believes its shares are undervalued.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, March 16th. Investors of record on Friday, February 16th will be issued a dividend of $0.35 per share. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, February 15th. This represents a $1.40 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.93%. HCI Group’s payout ratio is -84.85%.

In other HCI Group news, Director James J. Macchiarola purchased 6,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Monday, November 27th. The shares were purchased at an average price of $30.44 per share, for a total transaction of $182,640.00. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, Director Gregory Politis purchased 4,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Friday, December 15th. The stock was acquired at an average price of $29.62 per share, for a total transaction of $118,480.00. Following the transaction, the director now owns 194,000 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $5,746,280. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. In the last three months, insiders have purchased 13,000 shares of company stock worth $391,360. 20.37% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the business. Brandywine Global Investment Management LLC grew its position in HCI Group by 11.4% in the second quarter. Brandywine Global Investment Management LLC now owns 3,230 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $152,000 after buying an additional 330 shares during the last quarter. Thrivent Financial For Lutherans grew its position in HCI Group by 3.3% in the second quarter. Thrivent Financial For Lutherans now owns 4,950 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $233,000 after buying an additional 160 shares during the last quarter. Crossmark Global Holdings Inc. acquired a new position in HCI Group in the third quarter worth approximately $202,000. Voya Investment Management LLC grew its position in HCI Group by 14.3% in the second quarter. Voya Investment Management LLC now owns 5,433 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $255,000 after buying an additional 681 shares during the last quarter. Finally, First Trust Advisors LP acquired a new position in HCI Group in the third quarter worth approximately $244,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 76.29% of the company’s stock.

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About HCI Group

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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