State Auto Financial Corp (NASDAQ:STFC) was the target of a significant growth in short interest in the month of October. As of October 31st, there was short interest totalling 886,613 shares, a growth of 52.4% from the October 15th total of 581,850 shares. Currently, 5.4% of the company’s shares are sold short. Based on an average trading volume of 24,925 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is presently 35.6 days.
Several equities analysts have recently issued reports on STFC shares. Zacks Investment Research lowered State Auto Financial from a “hold” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research note on Tuesday, July 17th. BidaskClub raised State Auto Financial from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, July 24th. Finally, Keefe, Bruyette & Woods set a $30.00 target price on State Auto Financial and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday, August 6th.
NASDAQ:STFC opened at $33.00 on Friday. State Auto Financial has a 1-year low of $25.12 and a 1-year high of $34.31. The company has a current ratio of 0.05, a quick ratio of 0.05 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.14. The stock has a market capitalization of $1.45 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of -82.50 and a beta of 0.63.
State Auto Financial (NASDAQ:STFC) last released its earnings results on Thursday, November 1st. The insurance provider reported $0.44 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.27 by $0.17. State Auto Financial had a return on equity of 4.62% and a net margin of 2.29%. The firm had revenue of $346.00 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $325.60 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted ($0.54) earnings per share. The company’s quarterly revenue was down 3.5% on a year-over-year basis. Research analysts anticipate that State Auto Financial will post 1.15 EPS for the current year.
In other news, insider Steven Eugene English sold 3,633 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, November 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $33.00, for a total transaction of $119,889.00. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Corporate insiders own 1.54% of the company’s stock.
A number of large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in STFC. Legal & General Group Plc lifted its stake in State Auto Financial by 60.2% in the first quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 6,913 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $197,000 after buying an additional 2,599 shares during the period. Victory Capital Management Inc. lifted its stake in State Auto Financial by 36.9% in the second quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 1,094,529 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $32,737,000 after buying an additional 294,814 shares during the period. Bank of New York Mellon Corp lifted its stake in State Auto Financial by 2.7% in the second quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 121,616 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $3,638,000 after buying an additional 3,239 shares during the period. SG Americas Securities LLC acquired a new position in State Auto Financial in the second quarter valued at about $101,000. Finally, Russell Investments Group Ltd. lifted its stake in State Auto Financial by 53.1% in the second quarter. Russell Investments Group Ltd. now owns 163,319 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $4,893,000 after buying an additional 56,662 shares during the period. 35.32% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
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About State Auto Financial
State Auto Financial Corporation, through its subsidiaries, engages in writing personal, business, and specialty insurance products. It operates through four segments: Personal Insurance, Commercial Insurance, Specialty Insurance, and Investment Operations. The Personal Insurance segment primarily provides personal automobile, homeowners insurance, and other personal insurance products.
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