State Auto Financial Corp (NASDAQ:STFC) Sees Significant Growth in Short Interest

State Auto Financial Corp (NASDAQ:STFC) saw a significant growth in short interest in July. As of July 15th, there was short interest totalling 240,400 shares, a growth of 7.1% from the June 30th total of 224,400 shares. Based on an average daily volume of 69,500 shares, the short-interest ratio is presently 3.5 days. Currently, 1.4% of the shares of the company are short sold.

In other State Auto Financial news, CEO Michael Larocco bought 7,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, May 12th. The shares were bought at an average price of $18.84 per share, with a total value of $131,880.00. Also, SVP Kim Burton Garland purchased 14,786 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, May 7th. The stock was acquired at an average cost of $21.93 per share, for a total transaction of $324,256.98. Insiders have purchased 43,611 shares of company stock worth $892,423 over the last quarter. 2.00% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

A number of hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of STFC. Norges Bank purchased a new position in shares of State Auto Financial in the fourth quarter worth $12,438,000. Deprince Race & Zollo Inc. increased its holdings in State Auto Financial by 80.3% in the 1st quarter. Deprince Race & Zollo Inc. now owns 357,841 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $9,944,000 after buying an additional 159,340 shares during the period. Victory Capital Management Inc. raised its position in State Auto Financial by 4.9% during the 1st quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 1,566,635 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $43,537,000 after buying an additional 72,870 shares during the last quarter. UBS Group AG lifted its stake in State Auto Financial by 407.8% during the 2nd quarter. UBS Group AG now owns 53,796 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $961,000 after acquiring an additional 43,203 shares during the period. Finally, Federated Hermes Inc. boosted its holdings in shares of State Auto Financial by 2,945.3% in the 1st quarter. Federated Hermes Inc. now owns 37,792 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $1,050,000 after acquiring an additional 36,551 shares during the last quarter. 34.14% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

Several equities analysts have recently commented on STFC shares. Piper Sandler lowered their target price on shares of State Auto Financial from $26.00 to $24.00 and set a “neutral” rating on the stock in a report on Monday, April 6th. BidaskClub downgraded shares of State Auto Financial from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a report on Friday, May 8th. Zacks Investment Research cut State Auto Financial from a “hold” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a report on Saturday, July 25th. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods dropped their price target on State Auto Financial from $28.00 to $24.00 and set a “market perform” rating for the company in a research note on Tuesday, May 19th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Finally, Sidoti began coverage on State Auto Financial in a research note on Thursday, July 16th. They issued a “neutral” rating and a $20.00 price objective on the stock. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have given a hold rating and one has given a buy rating to the stock. State Auto Financial presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $22.67.

Shares of NASDAQ STFC opened at $15.51 on Friday. State Auto Financial has a 1-year low of $15.33 and a 1-year high of $35.32. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.21, a current ratio of 0.11 and a quick ratio of 0.11. The business’s 50 day moving average is $17.27 and its two-hundred day moving average is $23.56. The stock has a market capitalization of $678.89 million, a P/E ratio of -8.66 and a beta of 0.04.

State Auto Financial (NASDAQ:STFC) last announced its earnings results on Wednesday, May 6th. The insurance provider reported ($0.18) EPS for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.40 by ($0.58). State Auto Financial had a positive return on equity of 0.71% and a negative net margin of 6.09%. The company had revenue of $349.70 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $351.00 million. As a group, equities research analysts anticipate that State Auto Financial will post -0.12 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

State Auto Financial Company Profile

State Auto Financial Corporation, through its subsidiaries, engages in writing personal and business 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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