Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of RenaissanceRe (NYSE:RNR) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note issued to investors on Tuesday morning.

According to Zacks, “RenaissanceRe’s shares have underperformed the industry in a year’s time. Its weak investment portfolio has been a concern. Its continuous exposure to catastrophe losses also remains a major headwind. Moreover, the company’s bottom line also suffers from continuously rising level of expenses. Increasing level of debt continues to weigh on RenaissanceRe’s margins. However, consistent premium growth bolsters revenue base. In addition, its robust inorganic growth impresses. The company's healthy balance sheet has helped it deploying excess capital to enhance shareholders’ value over the past several quarters. The company expects the recent tax reforn to reduce its net income by $40 milion during the period in which the tax bill will be enacted.”

Several other equities research analysts have also recently commented on the company. Wells Fargo & Co reissued a market perform rating and issued a $125.00 target price (down from $140.00) on shares of RenaissanceRe in a research note on Tuesday. UBS Group lifted their price objective on RenaissanceRe from $135.00 to $144.00 and gave the stock a neutral rating in a research note on Monday, November 6th. Morgan Stanley decreased their price objective on RenaissanceRe from $144.00 to $142.00 and set an equal weight rating for the company in a research note on Thursday, November 2nd. Citigroup raised RenaissanceRe from a neutral rating to a buy rating and lifted their price objective for the stock from $151.00 to $157.00 in a research note on Thursday, November 2nd. Finally, Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reaffirmed a hold rating and set a $136.00 price objective on shares of RenaissanceRe in a research note on Monday, October 16th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have given a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the company. The company presently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average price target of $146.50.

RenaissanceRe (RNR) traded up $1.74 during midday trading on Tuesday, hitting $120.51. The stock had a trading volume of 397,544 shares, compared to its average volume of 445,056. The firm has a market cap of $4,840.00, a PE ratio of -27.08, a P/E/G ratio of 1.34 and a beta of 0.67. RenaissanceRe has a one year low of $116.50 and a one year high of $152.00. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.25, a current ratio of 1.66 and a quick ratio of 1.66.

RenaissanceRe (NYSE:RNR) last released its earnings results on Tuesday, October 31st. The insurance provider reported ($13.81) EPS for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of ($12.25) by ($1.56). The firm had revenue of $483.22 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $300.46 million. RenaissanceRe had a negative net margin of 7.60% and a negative return on equity of 5.82%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 70.0% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the business posted $2.09 earnings per share. equities research analysts forecast that RenaissanceRe will post -8.78 earnings per share for the current year.

RenaissanceRe announced that its Board of Directors has approved a share repurchase program on Friday, November 10th that authorizes the company to buyback $500.00 million in shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the insurance provider to repurchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are usually an indication that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, December 29th. Investors of record on Friday, December 15th were paid a dividend of $0.32 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, December 14th. This represents a $1.28 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.06%. RenaissanceRe’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently -28.76%.

In other RenaissanceRe news, SVP Sean G. Brosnan sold 1,391 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, November 27th. The stock was sold at an average price of $135.73, for a total value of $188,800.43. Following the completion of the transaction, the senior vice president now directly owns 8,405 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,140,810.65. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, CEO Kevin Odonnell sold 5,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, December 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $131.65, for a total value of $658,250.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 190,707 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $25,106,576.55. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders have sold 11,391 shares of company stock valued at $1,524,950. 1.80% of the stock is owned by insiders.

A number of large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the business. Janus Henderson Group PLC grew its stake in RenaissanceRe by 53,631.6% in the second quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 1,290,632 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $179,463,000 after acquiring an additional 1,288,230 shares during the period. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP grew its stake in RenaissanceRe by 1.1% in the second quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 1,217,939 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $169,360,000 after acquiring an additional 12,882 shares during the period. APG Asset Management N.V. grew its stake in RenaissanceRe by 41.3% in the third quarter. APG Asset Management N.V. now owns 970,002 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $131,086,000 after acquiring an additional 283,300 shares during the period. Northern Trust Corp grew its stake in RenaissanceRe by 0.6% in the second quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 808,306 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $112,395,000 after acquiring an additional 4,468 shares during the period. Finally, Wells Fargo & Company MN grew its stake in RenaissanceRe by 0.8% in the third quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 775,406 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $104,788,000 after acquiring an additional 6,452 shares during the period. 93.33% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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About RenaissanceRe

RenaissanceRe Holdings Ltd. provides reinsurance and insurance coverages and related services to a range of customers. The Company’s products include property, casualty and specialty reinsurance and certain insurance products principally distributed through intermediaries. Its segments include Property; Casualty and Specialty, and Other category.

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