BidaskClub cut shares of State Auto Financial (NASDAQ:STFC) from a strong-buy rating to a buy rating in a research note issued to investors on Thursday morning.

Separately, Zacks Investment Research raised shares of State Auto Financial from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note on Wednesday, September 6th. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and one has given a buy rating to the company. The company presently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average price target of $26.00.

Shares of State Auto Financial (NASDAQ:STFC) opened at $28.46 on Thursday. State Auto Financial has a one year low of $22.11 and a one year high of $30.85. The company has a market cap of $1,210.00, a P/E ratio of 45.17 and a beta of 0.85. The company has a current ratio of 0.08, a quick ratio of 0.08 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.14.

State Auto Financial (NASDAQ:STFC) last released its earnings results on Thursday, November 2nd. The insurance provider reported ($0.54) EPS for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of ($0.46) by ($0.08). State Auto Financial had a net margin of 1.94% and a negative return on equity of 1.53%. The business had revenue of $358.40 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $342.70 million. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $0.10 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 1.6% on a year-over-year basis. equities analysts predict that State Auto Financial will post -0.32 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, December 29th. Investors of record on Friday, December 8th will be given a $0.10 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, December 7th. This represents a $0.40 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.41%. State Auto Financial’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 63.49%.

In related news, insider John M. Petrucci sold 10,682 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, November 30th. The shares were sold at an average price of $27.84, for a total value of $297,386.88. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, VP Matthew Stanley Mrozek sold 3,380 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, December 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $27.85, for a total transaction of $94,133.00. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now owns 8,633 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $240,429.05. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 1.54% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Several large investors have recently modified their holdings of STFC. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP lifted its position in State Auto Financial by 1.1% in the 2nd quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 2,542,424 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $65,418,000 after buying an additional 28,779 shares in the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. lifted its position in State Auto Financial by 5.8% in the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 1,252,287 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $32,222,000 after buying an additional 68,665 shares in the last quarter. Earnest Partners LLC lifted its position in State Auto Financial by 2.4% in the 3rd quarter. Earnest Partners LLC now owns 780,544 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $20,474,000 after buying an additional 18,219 shares in the last quarter. Alliancebernstein L.P. lifted its position in State Auto Financial by 21.9% in the 2nd quarter. Alliancebernstein L.P. now owns 529,239 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $13,617,000 after buying an additional 95,076 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Deprince Race & Zollo Inc. lifted its position in State Auto Financial by 15.1% in the 3rd quarter. Deprince Race & Zollo Inc. now owns 430,341 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $11,288,000 after buying an additional 56,554 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 33.10% of the company’s stock.

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State Auto Financial Company Profile

State Auto Financial Corporation is a property and casualty insurance holding company. The Company is engaged in writing personal, business and specialty insurance. Its segments include Personal Insurance Segment, Commercial Insurance Segment and Specialty Insurance Segment. Its Personal Insurance Segment include personal auto, homeowners and other personal; Commercial Insurance Segment include commercial auto, small commercial package, middle market commercial, workers’ compensation and other commercial, and Specialty Insurance Segment include Excess & Surplus (E&S) property, E&S casualty and programs.

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