Zacks Investment Research Upgrades CNA Financial (CNA) to Buy
Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of CNA Financial (NYSE:CNA) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report released on Monday. Zacks Investment Research currently has $54.00 price target on the insurance provider’s stock.
According to Zacks, “As one of the versatile property and casualty insurers, CNA Financial has been maintaining a good track record of combined ratio over the past few years, thereby leading to underwriting profitability. Moreover, with the rising interest rate environment, the company has been displaying improving investment results over a considerable period of time. The company also remains committed to enhancing shareholders’ value via effective capital deployment. Its long-term care business continues to perform strongly. The stock has also seen estimates for 2018 and 2019 moved north in the last 30 days. However, exposure to catastrophe loss poses an inherent risk to the P&C business, thus rendering volatility to the company’s earnings. Shares of CNA Financial have underperformed the industry in a year’s time.”
Separately, ValuEngine lowered shares of CNA Financial from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report on Monday, May 14th.
CNA Financial (NYSE:CNA) last released its quarterly earnings data on Monday, April 30th. The insurance provider reported $1.07 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.91 by $0.16. CNA Financial had a net margin of 9.54% and a return on equity of 8.06%. The company had revenue of $2.52 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.38 billion. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $0.87 earnings per share. analysts predict that CNA Financial will post 4.17 earnings per share for the current year.
The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, May 30th. Stockholders of record on Monday, May 14th were given a dividend of $0.30 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, May 11th. This represents a $1.20 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.55%. CNA Financial’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 35.50%.
In other news, CEO Dino Robusto sold 2,036 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, May 23rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $48.63, for a total transaction of $99,010.68. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 142,277 shares in the company, valued at $6,918,930.51. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, EVP Douglas Worman sold 11,396 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, May 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $47.66, for a total transaction of $543,133.36. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 17,273 shares in the company, valued at $823,231.18. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 0.18% of the company’s stock.
Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Teachers Advisors LLC grew its position in shares of CNA Financial by 1.8% during the fourth quarter. Teachers Advisors LLC now owns 55,660 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $2,953,000 after acquiring an additional 979 shares during the last quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. grew its position in shares of CNA Financial by 1.6% during the fourth quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. now owns 69,800 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $3,703,000 after acquiring an additional 1,100 shares during the last quarter. Guggenheim Capital LLC grew its position in shares of CNA Financial by 1.8% during the fourth quarter. Guggenheim Capital LLC now owns 75,570 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $4,009,000 after acquiring an additional 1,349 shares during the last quarter. TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC grew its position in shares of CNA Financial by 2.0% during the fourth quarter. TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC now owns 74,450 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $3,950,000 after acquiring an additional 1,434 shares during the last quarter. Finally, California Public Employees Retirement System grew its position in shares of CNA Financial by 1.4% during the fourth quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 123,115 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $6,531,000 after acquiring an additional 1,675 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 99.33% of the company’s stock.
CNA Financial Company Profile
CNA Financial Corporation provides commercial property and casualty insurance products primarily in the United States. It operates through Specialty, Commercial, International, Life & Group, and Corporate & Other segments. The company's property insurance products include property, marine, boiler, and machinery coverages; and casualty insurance products comprise workers compensation, general and product liability, commercial auto, and umbrella coverages.
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