National General Holdings Corp (NASDAQ:NGHC) saw a large increase in short interest during the month of August. As of August 31st, there was short interest totalling 751,300 shares, an increase of 12.7% from the July 31st total of 666,600 shares. Based on an average daily trading volume, of 251,100 shares, the short-interest ratio is presently 3.0 days. Approximately 1.1% of the shares of the company are short sold.

A number of analysts have recently weighed in on NGHC shares. ValuEngine cut National General from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Thursday, June 27th. Compass Point set a $36.00 price target on National General and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Monday, June 24th. B. Riley increased their price target on National General from $33.00 to $36.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, May 31st. Zacks Investment Research upgraded National General from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $25.00 price target on the stock in a research report on Saturday, July 27th. Finally, BidaskClub upgraded National General from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have issued a hold rating and three have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $31.17.

Shares of National General stock traded down $0.10 on Friday, reaching $24.39. 148,607 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 160,729. The company’s 50-day moving average is $23.82 and its two-hundred day moving average is $23.88. The firm has a market cap of $2.77 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 11.67 and a beta of 0.67. National General has a 1-year low of $21.22 and a 1-year high of $28.89.

National General (NASDAQ:NGHC) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Monday, July 29th. The insurance provider reported $0.67 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.60 by $0.07. The business had revenue of $1.22 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.37 billion. National General had a return on equity of 16.90% and a net margin of 5.44%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 12.5% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $0.54 EPS. Research analysts forecast that National General will post 2.7 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, October 16th. Investors of record on Wednesday, October 2nd will be given a $0.05 dividend. This is a boost from National General’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.04. This represents a $0.20 annualized dividend and a yield of 0.82%. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, October 1st. National General’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 7.66%.

In other National General news, CFO Michael Hal Weiner sold 5,110 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, June 17th. The stock was sold at an average price of $24.09, for a total transaction of $123,099.90. Following the transaction, the chief financial officer now owns 44,623 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,074,968.07. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this link. In the last ninety days, insiders have sold 15,846 shares of company stock worth $373,503. 3.38% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its position in National General by 3.7% in the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 5,993,589 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $137,493,000 after acquiring an additional 213,714 shares during the period. Park West Asset Management LLC increased its position in National General by 2.7% in the 2nd quarter. Park West Asset Management LLC now owns 5,248,841 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $120,408,000 after acquiring an additional 138,130 shares during the period. BlackRock Inc. increased its position in National General by 7.5% in the 2nd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 4,772,804 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $109,490,000 after acquiring an additional 332,838 shares during the period. Wells Fargo & Company MN increased its position in National General by 0.6% in the 1st quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 3,157,789 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $74,933,000 after acquiring an additional 17,725 shares during the period. Finally, Dimensional Fund Advisors LP increased its position in National General by 1.5% in the 4th quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 2,821,475 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $68,307,000 after acquiring an additional 41,234 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 52.11% of the company’s stock.

About National General

National General Holdings Corp., a specialty personal lines insurance holding company, provides various insurance products and services in the United States, Bermuda, Luxembourg, and Sweden. The company's Property and Casualty segment offers standard, preferred, and nonstandard automobile insurance products; and recreational vehicle (RV) insurance products that carry RV-specific endorsements comprising automatic personal effects coverage, optional replacement cost coverage, RV storage coverage, and full-time liability coverage.

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