State Auto Financial Corp (STFC) Sees Large Drop in Short Interest

State Auto Financial Corp (NASDAQ:STFC) was the target of a significant decrease in short interest in November. As of November 15th, there was short interest totalling 520,426 shares, a decrease of 41.3% from the October 31st total of 886,613 shares. Based on an average trading volume of 37,919 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is currently 13.7 days. Currently, 3.1% of the shares of the stock are short sold.

In other news, insider Steven Eugene English sold 3,633 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, November 7th. The stock was sold at an average price of $34.00, for a total value of $123,522.00. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 39,148 shares in the company, valued at $1,331,032. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. 1.54% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. SG Americas Securities LLC acquired a new position in State Auto Financial in the second quarter valued at $101,000. Lincoln National Corp acquired a new position in State Auto Financial in the second quarter valued at $205,000. MetLife Investment Advisors LLC increased its stake in State Auto Financial by 52.4% in the third quarter. MetLife Investment Advisors LLC now owns 12,098 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $369,000 after purchasing an additional 4,158 shares during the last quarter. Keybank National Association OH increased its stake in State Auto Financial by 30.9% in the second quarter. Keybank National Association OH now owns 21,475 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $642,000 after purchasing an additional 5,075 shares during the last quarter. Finally, California Public Employees Retirement System increased its stake in State Auto Financial by 192.2% in the second quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 22,788 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $682,000 after purchasing an additional 14,988 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 35.82% of the company’s stock.

Several analysts have recently issued reports on the company. BidaskClub downgraded State Auto Financial from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Saturday, August 25th. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods set a $30.00 price objective on State Auto Financial and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research report on Monday, August 6th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research upgraded State Auto Financial from a “hold” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $39.00 price objective on the stock in a research report on Friday, November 9th.

State Auto Financial stock opened at $35.00 on Friday. The firm has a market capitalization of $1.47 billion, a P/E ratio of -87.50 and a beta of 0.63. State Auto Financial has a 52 week low of $25.92 and a 52 week high of $35.00. The company has a quick ratio of 0.05, a current ratio of 0.05 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.14.

State Auto Financial (NASDAQ:STFC) last released its earnings results on Thursday, November 1st. The insurance provider reported $0.44 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.27 by $0.17. The firm had revenue of $346.00 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $325.60 million. State Auto Financial had a return on equity of 4.62% and a net margin of 2.29%. The business’s quarterly revenue was down 3.5% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted ($0.54) earnings per share. Research analysts predict that State Auto Financial will post 1.15 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, December 28th. Investors of record on Friday, December 7th will be paid a $0.10 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, December 6th. This represents a $0.40 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.14%. State Auto Financial’s payout ratio is currently -100.00%.

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State Auto Financial Company Profile

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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