The Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. (NYSE: HIG) stock fell -2.91% on Friday to $63.07 against a previous-day closing price of $64.96. With 1.43 million shares changed hands, the volume of the stock remained lighter than its average volume of 1.79 million shares. During the session, the Insurance – Diversified company that operates in wider Financial sector, reached to the highest price of $65.49 whereas the lowest price it dropped to was $63.02. The 52-week range on HIG shows that it touched its highest point at $78.17 and its lowest point at $61.59 during that stretch. It currently has a 1-year price target of $82.35. With its current market cap of 20.49 billion, HIG has annualized dividend of $1.54 while the current yield stands at 2.44%. Beta for the stock currently stands at 0.90.
Price Performance and Earnings:
Stock performance is one of the indicators that investors use to determine whether they will profit from a stock. The price performance of HIG was down-trending over the past week, with a drop of -3.94%, but this was down by -6.22% over a month. Three-month performance dropped to -3.31% while six-month performance fell -12.13%. The stock lost -7.00% in the past year, while it has lost -8.65% so far this year. A look at the trailing 12-month EPS for HIG yields 6.08 with Next year EPS estimates of 8.31. For the next quarter, that number is 1.59. This implies an EPS growth rate of 39.60% for this year and 13.28% for next year. EPS is expected to grow by 13.73% annually over the next five years; however, over the past five years, the company experienced an annual growth rate of 33.60%.
Float and Shares Shorts:
At present, 327.40 million HIG shares are outstanding with a float of 321.91 million shares on hand for trading. On Jul 14, 2022, short shares totaled 2.63 million, which was 0.80% higher than short shares on Jun 14, 2022. In addition to Mr. Christopher Jerome Swift CPA as the firm’s Chairman & CEO, Mr. Douglas Graham Elliot serves as its Pres.
Through their ownership of 95.76% of HIG’s outstanding shares, institutional investors have majority control over the company. Other institutions hold 56.09% of HIG, in contrast to 36.80% held by mutual funds. Shares owned by individuals account for 0.93%. As the largest shareholder in HIG with 11.96% of the stake, The Vanguard Group, Inc. holds 38,660,073 shares worth 38,660,073. A second-largest stockholder of HIG, SSgA Funds Management, Inc., holds 18,486,849 shares, controlling over 5.72% of the firm’s shares. T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc. is the third largest shareholder in HIG, holding 17,751,481 shares or 5.49% stake. With a 3.01% stake in HIG, the Vanguard Total Stock Market Index is the largest stakeholder. A total of 9,725,091 shares are owned by the mutual fund manager. The Vanguard Mid Cap Index Fund, which owns about 2.34% of HIG stock, is the second-largest Mutual Fund holder. It holds 7,550,245 shares valued at 485.56 million. Vanguard 500 Index Fund holds 2.27% of the stake in HIG, owning 7,340,630 shares worth 472.08 million.
Reading analyst opinions is an effective way to decide where to invest, and there are several opinions available for HIG since 21 analysts follow the stock currently. There are 12 analysts who recommend BUY ratings, while 0 suggest SELL ratings. Of the remaining analysts, 5 believe that the stock is worth HOLDING, 4 give it an OVERWEIGHT rating, and 0 thinks that it’s UNDERWEIGHT. In the same way, a target price assigned to a stock can also reveal much about its potential. With HIG analysts setting a high price target of $104.00 and a low target of $70.00, the average target price over the next 12 months is $81.83. Based on these targets, HIG could surge 64.9% to reach the target high and rise by 10.99% to reach the target low. Reaching the average price target will result in a growth of 29.74% from current levels.
EPS: Estimates vs Actual
It is also common to use earnings estimates to evaluate a firm’s growth potential and to determine trading strategy. HIG will report FY 2022 earnings on 02/02/2023. Analysts have provided yearly estimates in a range of $7.60 being high and $7.00 being low. For HIG, this leads to a yearly average estimate of $7.33. The earnings surprise of a firm occurs when the actual results change from the consensus earnings estimate. The Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. surprised analysts by $0.63 when it reported $2.15 EPS against a consensus estimate of $1.52. The surprise factor in the prior quarter was $0.12. Based on analyst estimates, the high estimate for the next quarter is $1.78 and the low estimate is $1.34. The average estimate for the next quarter is thus $1.59.
Summary of Insider Activity:
Insiders traded HIG stock several times over the past three months with 11 Buys and 2 Sells. In these transactions, 29,641 shares were bought while 4,769 shares were sold. The number of buy transactions has increased to 32 while that of sell transactions has risen to 39 over the past year. The total number of shares bought during that period was 577,784 while 445,841 shares were sold.