First American Financial (FAF) Upgraded by Zacks Investment Research to “Buy”

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Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of First American Financial (NYSE:FAF) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note released on Tuesday morning, Zacks.com reports. Zacks Investment Research currently has $61.00 price objective on the insurance provider’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Shares of First American Financial have outperformed the industry year to date. The company has been continually investing in increasing efficiency, improving risk profile and enhancing product offerings. It envisions being the premier title insurance and settlement service company. The company should continue to benefit from strength in commercial business. The company has been actively investing in complementary businesses that support or expand the core business. Strategic acquisitions strengthen its core business and expand its valuation and data businesses. Also, it focuses on expansion of digital closing services. Riding on operational excellence, it enjoys a strong balance sheet and engages in effective capital deployment. The company aims 12-14% return on equity over the long term. However, increasing expenses raise concern. The company expects purchase market decline to continue in 2019.”

Other equities research analysts have also issued research reports about the stock. ValuEngine raised shares of First American Financial from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report on Wednesday, March 27th. Piper Jaffray Companies raised shares of First American Financial from a neutral rating to an overweight rating and raised their price target for the stock from $59.00 to $67.00 in a report on Monday, April 1st. Barclays set a $58.00 price target on shares of First American Financial and gave the stock a buy rating in a report on Friday, February 15th. Finally, Compass Point assumed coverage on shares of First American Financial in a report on Thursday, January 24th. They issued a buy rating and a $58.00 price target on the stock. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a hold rating and five have given a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has an average rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $56.60.

Shares of First American Financial stock opened at $55.72 on Tuesday. The firm has a market capitalization of $6.09 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 11.86, a PEG ratio of 1.07 and a beta of 0.85. First American Financial has a 12-month low of $41.96 and a 12-month high of $57.88.

First American Financial (NYSE:FAF) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, February 14th. The insurance provider reported $1.27 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.14 by $0.13. The business had revenue of $1.42 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.46 billion. First American Financial had a net margin of 8.26% and a return on equity of 14.87%. The company’s revenue was down 4.3% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $1.96 EPS. On average, equities analysts expect that First American Financial will post 4.63 earnings per share for the current year.

In other news, EVP Kenneth D. Degiorgio sold 5,204 shares of First American Financial stock in a transaction dated Monday, February 25th. The shares were sold at an average price of $51.53, for a total transaction of $268,162.12. Following the sale, the executive vice president now owns 504,942 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $26,019,661.26. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, EVP Kenneth D. Degiorgio sold 7,052 shares of First American Financial stock in a transaction dated Thursday, February 28th. The shares were sold at an average price of $51.07, for a total transaction of $360,145.64. Following the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 448,026 shares in the company, valued at approximately $22,880,687.82. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 3.00% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in FAF. JOYN Advisors Inc. boosted its stake in shares of First American Financial by 540.0% during the 4th quarter. JOYN Advisors Inc. now owns 608 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $27,000 after purchasing an additional 513 shares in the last quarter. Advisors Preferred LLC bought a new stake in shares of First American Financial during the 4th quarter valued at about $30,000. Legacy Financial Advisors Inc. bought a new stake in shares of First American Financial during the 4th quarter valued at about $31,000. Executive Wealth Management LLC bought a new stake in shares of First American Financial during the 4th quarter valued at about $37,000. Finally, Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund boosted its stake in shares of First American Financial by 4,404.7% during the 4th quarter. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund now owns 1,973,445 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $44,000 after purchasing an additional 1,929,636 shares in the last quarter. 84.97% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About First American Financial

First American Financial Corporation, through its subsidiaries, provides financial services. It operates through Title Insurance and Services, and Specialty Insurance segments. The Title Insurance and Services segment issues title insurance policies on residential and commercial property, as well as offers related products and services.

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