Shares of Hartford Financial Services Group Inc (NYSE:HIG) have been assigned an average rating of “Buy” from the seventeen brokerages that are covering the company, MarketBeat.com reports. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have issued a hold rating and nine have assigned a buy rating to the company. The average 12-month price objective among brokers that have updated their coverage on the stock in the last year is $57.00.

Several research firms have recently issued reports on HIG. ValuEngine raised Hartford Financial Services Group from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, December 27th. Wells Fargo & Co set a $53.00 price target on Hartford Financial Services Group and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, December 5th. Morgan Stanley dropped their price target on Hartford Financial Services Group from $57.00 to $52.00 and set an “equal weight” rating on the stock in a research report on Wednesday, November 14th. Credit Suisse Group set a $53.00 price target on Hartford Financial Services Group and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, December 13th. Finally, Janney Montgomery Scott upgraded Hartford Financial Services Group from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Tuesday, December 4th.

Hartford Financial Services Group stock traded up $0.21 during trading hours on Friday, reaching $48.81. The company had a trading volume of 1,326,296 shares, compared to its average volume of 2,250,292. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.33, a current ratio of 0.32 and a quick ratio of 0.32. The stock has a market capitalization of $17.49 billion, a P/E ratio of 11.27, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.02 and a beta of 0.72. Hartford Financial Services Group has a 12-month low of $40.54 and a 12-month high of $55.16.

Hartford Financial Services Group (NYSE:HIG) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Monday, February 4th. The insurance provider reported $0.78 EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.65 by $0.13. The business had revenue of $4.63 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $4.73 billion. Hartford Financial Services Group had a return on equity of 12.31% and a net margin of 9.53%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 1.0% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $0.81 EPS. Sell-side analysts expect that Hartford Financial Services Group will post 4.98 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Hartford Financial Services Group announced that its board has approved a stock buyback program on Monday, February 4th that authorizes the company to repurchase $1.00 billion in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the insurance provider to repurchase up to 5.9% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares repurchase programs are typically a sign that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, April 1st. Shareholders of record on Monday, March 4th will be issued a $0.30 dividend. This represents a $1.20 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.46%. The ex-dividend date is Friday, March 1st. Hartford Financial Services Group’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 27.71%.

In related news, CEO Christopher Swift bought 11,423 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, January 10th. The shares were acquired at an average cost of $43.73 per share, with a total value of $499,527.79. Following the completion of the acquisition, the chief executive officer now owns 135,389 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $5,920,560.97. The purchase was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, EVP David C. Robinson sold 2,392 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, January 31st. The stock was sold at an average price of $46.35, for a total value of $110,869.20. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 1.50% of the company’s stock.

Large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Founders Capital Management bought a new position in shares of Hartford Financial Services Group during the fourth quarter valued at $27,000. Dubuque Bank & Trust Co. bought a new position in shares of Hartford Financial Services Group during the fourth quarter valued at $29,000. Rational Advisors LLC lifted its holdings in shares of Hartford Financial Services Group by 87.8% during the fourth quarter. Rational Advisors LLC now owns 875 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $39,000 after purchasing an additional 409 shares in the last quarter. Ipswich Investment Management Co. Inc. bought a new position in shares of Hartford Financial Services Group during the fourth quarter valued at $58,000. Finally, Lindbrook Capital LLC bought a new position in shares of Hartford Financial Services Group during the fourth quarter valued at $62,000. 91.28% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About Hartford Financial Services Group

The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc, through its subsidiaries, provides insurance and financial services to individual and business customers in the United States. It operates through five segments: Commercial Lines, Personal Lines, Property & Casualty Other Operations, Group Benefits, and Mutual Funds.

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Analyst Recommendations for Hartford Financial Services Group (NYSE:HIG)

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