State Auto Financial Corp (NASDAQ:STFC) was the target of a significant decline in short interest in the month of October. As of October 15th, there was short interest totalling 581,850 shares, a decline of 40.8% from the September 28th total of 982,495 shares. Based on an average daily volume of 26,944 shares, the short-interest ratio is currently 21.6 days. Approximately 3.5% of the shares of the company are sold short.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Russell Investments Group Ltd. boosted its stake in shares of State Auto Financial by 4.8% in the third quarter. Russell Investments Group Ltd. now owns 171,180 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $5,229,000 after acquiring an additional 7,861 shares during the period. Deprince Race & Zollo Inc. boosted its stake in shares of State Auto Financial by 11.4% in the third quarter. Deprince Race & Zollo Inc. now owns 490,654 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $14,985,000 after acquiring an additional 50,057 shares during the period. Northern Trust Corp boosted its stake in shares of State Auto Financial by 5.0% in the second quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 227,835 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $6,814,000 after acquiring an additional 10,781 shares during the period. Bank of New York Mellon Corp boosted its stake in shares of State Auto Financial by 2.7% in the second quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 121,616 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $3,638,000 after acquiring an additional 3,239 shares during the period. Finally, California Public Employees Retirement System boosted its stake in shares of State Auto Financial by 192.2% in the second quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 22,788 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $682,000 after acquiring an additional 14,988 shares during the period. 35.32% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

NASDAQ:STFC opened at $30.42 on Monday. State Auto Financial has a 52-week low of $24.84 and a 52-week high of $34.31. The company has a current ratio of 0.05, a quick ratio of 0.05 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.14.

State Auto Financial (NASDAQ:STFC) last released its quarterly earnings results on Monday, August 6th. The insurance provider reported ($0.08) earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.06 by ($0.14). State Auto Financial had a negative net margin of 0.82% and a negative return on equity of 0.25%. The company had revenue of $341.70 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $332.10 million. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted ($0.04) EPS. The business’s revenue for the quarter was down 3.9% on a year-over-year basis. Analysts expect that State Auto Financial will post 1.1 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Several research firms have issued reports on STFC. BidaskClub lowered State Auto Financial from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, October 19th. Zacks Investment Research raised State Auto Financial from a “strong sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, September 13th. Finally, Keefe, Bruyette & Woods set a $30.00 price target on State Auto Financial and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Monday, August 6th.

About State Auto Financial

State Auto Financial Corporation, through its subsidiaries, engages in writing personal, business, and specialty insurance products. It operates through four segments: Personal Insurance, Commercial Insurance, Specialty Insurance, and Investment Operations. The Personal Insurance segment primarily provides personal automobile, homeowners insurance, and other personal insurance products.

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