Short Interest in The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. (NYSE:HIG) Drops By 37.2%

The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. (NYSE:HIGGet Rating) saw a large decline in short interest in the month of March. As of March 31st, there was short interest totalling 2,280,000 shares, a decline of 37.2% from the March 15th total of 3,630,000 shares. Based on an average trading volume of 2,160,000 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is presently 1.1 days. Approximately 0.7% of the company’s shares are sold short.

In other news, SVP Scott R. Lewis sold 5,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Monday, April 11th. The stock was sold at an average price of $75.00, for a total transaction of $375,000.00. Following the transaction, the senior vice president now owns 20,121 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,509,075. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, EVP Robert W. Paiano sold 8,510 shares of the stock in a transaction on Monday, April 11th. The stock was sold at an average price of $75.00, for a total value of $638,250.00. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 37,142 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,785,650. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 1.55% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Several hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in HIG. Norges Bank acquired a new position in shares of The Hartford Financial Services Group in the fourth quarter valued at about $242,083,000. Marathon Asset Mgmt Ltd acquired a new position in shares of The Hartford Financial Services Group in the third quarter valued at about $80,243,000. Bank of America Corp DE increased its holdings in shares of The Hartford Financial Services Group by 41.0% in the second quarter. Bank of America Corp DE now owns 3,710,372 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $229,931,000 after purchasing an additional 1,078,151 shares during the period. Bank of New York Mellon Corp increased its holdings in shares of The Hartford Financial Services Group by 28.8% in the third quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 4,002,178 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $281,153,000 after purchasing an additional 893,852 shares during the period. Finally, Millennium Management LLC grew its holdings in The Hartford Financial Services Group by 131.0% during the third quarter. Millennium Management LLC now owns 1,332,758 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $93,626,000 after acquiring an additional 755,746 shares during the period. 91.05% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

HIG has been the topic of a number of recent research reports. Barclays increased their price target on The Hartford Financial Services Group from $85.00 to $86.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research report on Tuesday. Wells Fargo & Company upped their price objective on The Hartford Financial Services Group from $83.00 to $85.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research note on Tuesday, January 4th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. decreased their price objective on The Hartford Financial Services Group from $79.00 to $76.00 in a research note on Thursday, January 6th. Morgan Stanley decreased their price objective on The Hartford Financial Services Group from $79.00 to $77.00 and set an “equal weight” rating for the company in a research note on Friday, January 14th. Finally, StockNews.com began coverage on The Hartford Financial Services Group in a research note on Thursday, March 31st. They set a “buy” rating for the company. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eight have assigned a buy rating to the stock. Based on data from MarketBeat.com, the stock has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $79.92.

The Hartford Financial Services Group stock traded down $0.40 during midday trading on Friday, reaching $74.95. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 1,309,347 shares, compared to its average volume of 2,087,266. The stock’s 50-day simple moving average is $70.82 and its 200-day simple moving average is $70.77. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.28, a current ratio of 0.31 and a quick ratio of 0.31. The Hartford Financial Services Group has a 52-week low of $59.86 and a 52-week high of $78.17. The stock has a market capitalization of $24.79 billion, a P/E ratio of 11.29, a PEG ratio of 1.56 and a beta of 1.02.

The Hartford Financial Services Group (NYSE:HIGGet Rating) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, February 3rd. The insurance provider reported $2.02 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.52 by $0.50. The company had revenue of $3.70 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $3.62 billion. The Hartford Financial Services Group had a return on equity of 12.39% and a net margin of 10.56%. During the same period last year, the business posted $1.76 earnings per share. As a group, equities research analysts expect that The Hartford Financial Services Group will post 6.87 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, April 4th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, March 1st were issued a $0.385 dividend. This represents a $1.54 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.05%. The ex-dividend date was Monday, February 28th. The Hartford Financial Services Group’s dividend payout ratio is presently 23.19%.

The Hartford Financial Services Group Company Profile (Get Rating)

The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc is an insurance and financial services company. The company provides life insurance, group and employee benefits, automobile and homeowners insurance and business insurance, as well as investment products, annuities, mutual funds, and college savings plans. It operates through the following segments: Commercial Lines, Personal Lines, Property & Casualty Other Operations, Group Benefits and Hartford Funds.

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