BRITISH COLUMBIA INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT Corp grew its position in shares of Hartford Financial Services Group Inc (NYSE:HIG) by 17.7% during the 1st quarter, HoldingsChannel.com reports. The institutional investor owned 199,949 shares of the insurance provider’s stock after acquiring an additional 30,025 shares during the quarter. BRITISH COLUMBIA INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT Corp’s holdings in Hartford Financial Services Group were worth $9,941,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Several other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Jane Street Group LLC increased its stake in shares of Hartford Financial Services Group by 387.0% in the 4th quarter. Jane Street Group LLC now owns 60,982 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $2,710,000 after purchasing an additional 48,461 shares in the last quarter. Captrust Financial Advisors increased its stake in shares of Hartford Financial Services Group by 1.6% in the 4th quarter. Captrust Financial Advisors now owns 27,353 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $1,224,000 after purchasing an additional 426 shares in the last quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. increased its stake in shares of Hartford Financial Services Group by 1,211.2% in the 4th quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. now owns 152,098 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $6,761,000 after purchasing an additional 140,498 shares in the last quarter. Municipal Employees Retirement System of Michigan purchased a new stake in shares of Hartford Financial Services Group in the 4th quarter worth $418,000. Finally, Investors Research Corp purchased a new stake in shares of Hartford Financial Services Group in the 1st quarter worth $93,000. 91.21% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

In other Hartford Financial Services Group news, insider Martha Gervasi sold 5,039 shares of the stock in a transaction on Tuesday, May 14th. The stock was sold at an average price of $52.87, for a total value of $266,411.93. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 15,210 shares in the company, valued at approximately $804,152.70. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, EVP Robert W. Paiano sold 5,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Wednesday, May 15th. The stock was sold at an average price of $52.40, for a total value of $262,000.00. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now owns 33,342 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,747,120.80. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 15,039 shares of company stock valued at $778,412 in the last quarter. 1.70% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Several equities research analysts have recently commented on HIG shares. ValuEngine lowered Hartford Financial Services Group from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Tuesday, March 5th. TheStreet upgraded Hartford Financial Services Group from a “c+” rating to a “b-” rating in a research note on Thursday, March 14th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Hartford Financial Services Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $59.00 price objective for the company in a research note on Friday, May 17th. Barclays upped their price objective on Hartford Financial Services Group from $55.00 to $57.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research note on Monday, April 1st. Finally, Wells Fargo & Co reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $56.00 price target on shares of Hartford Financial Services Group in a research note on Thursday, May 2nd. Five research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and nine have given a buy rating to the stock. The company has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $57.67.

Shares of HIG stock opened at $54.21 on Thursday. Hartford Financial Services Group Inc has a 52-week low of $40.54 and a 52-week high of $54.28. The company has a quick ratio of 0.32, a current ratio of 0.32 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.27. The firm has a market capitalization of $19.41 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 12.52, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.10 and a beta of 0.73.

Hartford Financial Services Group (NYSE:HIG) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, May 1st. The insurance provider reported $1.39 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.24 by $0.15. Hartford Financial Services Group had a return on equity of 12.46% and a net margin of 9.58%. The business had revenue of $4.94 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $4.84 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business posted $1.27 EPS. Hartford Financial Services Group’s revenue for the quarter was up 5.3% compared to the same quarter last year. Analysts expect that Hartford Financial Services Group Inc will post 5.12 EPS for the current year.

Hartford Financial Services Group declared that its board has approved a stock repurchase plan on Monday, February 4th that authorizes the company to buyback $1.00 billion in shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the insurance provider to reacquire up to 5.9% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback plans are generally a sign that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, July 1st. Shareholders of record on Monday, June 3rd will be paid a $0.30 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, May 31st. This represents a $1.20 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.21%. Hartford Financial Services Group’s payout ratio is presently 27.71%.

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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. Its Commercial Lines segment offers workers' compensation, property, automobile, marine, livestock, liability, and umbrella coverages; and customized insurance products and risk management services, including professional liability, bond, surety, and specialty casualty coverages.

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Hartford Financial Services Group (NYSE:HIG)

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