National General Holdings Corp (NASDAQ:NGHC) Sees Significant Increase in Short Interest

National General Holdings Corp (NASDAQ:NGHC) saw a significant growth in short interest in the month of August. As of August 31st, there was short interest totalling 751,300 shares, a growth of 12.7% from the July 31st total of 666,600 shares. Based on an average daily trading volume, of 251,100 shares, the short-interest ratio is currently 3.0 days. Approximately 1.1% of the shares of the stock are short sold.

NGHC has been the subject of several research analyst reports. Compass Point set a $36.00 price target on National General and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday, June 24th. BidaskClub raised National General from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday. Zacks Investment Research raised National General from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $25.00 price target for the company in a research note on Saturday, July 27th. ValuEngine lowered National General from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Thursday, June 27th. Finally, B. Riley lifted their price target on National General from $33.00 to $36.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, May 31st. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have assigned a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $31.17.

In related news, CFO Michael Hal Weiner sold 5,110 shares of National General stock in a transaction on Friday, July 26th. The stock was sold at an average price of $23.00, for a total transaction of $117,530.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief financial officer now owns 49,560 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,139,880. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Insiders have sold 15,846 shares of company stock valued at $373,503 in the last three months. 3.38% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Park West Asset Management LLC lifted its stake in shares of National General by 2.7% in the 2nd quarter. Park West Asset Management LLC now owns 5,248,841 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $120,408,000 after acquiring an additional 138,130 shares during the last quarter. Hancock Whitney Corp lifted its stake in shares of National General by 2.9% in the 2nd quarter. Hancock Whitney Corp now owns 29,469 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $676,000 after acquiring an additional 830 shares during the last quarter. Susquehanna International Group LLP bought a new stake in shares of National General in the 2nd quarter valued at about $588,000. Hillcrest Asset Management LLC increased its holdings in National General by 0.6% during the 2nd quarter. Hillcrest Asset Management LLC now owns 534,562 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $12,263,000 after purchasing an additional 3,220 shares during the period. Finally, Nuveen Asset Management LLC increased its holdings in National General by 2,276.8% during the 2nd quarter. Nuveen Asset Management LLC now owns 343,847 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $7,888,000 after purchasing an additional 329,380 shares during the period. 52.11% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

Shares of NASDAQ NGHC traded down $0.10 during midday trading on Friday, reaching $24.39. The company had a trading volume of 148,607 shares, compared to its average volume of 160,729. National General has a one year low of $21.22 and a one year high of $28.89. The firm’s fifty day moving average price is $23.82 and its 200-day moving average price is $23.88. The stock has a market cap of $2.77 billion, a PE ratio of 11.67 and a beta of 0.67.

National General (NASDAQ:NGHC) last released its earnings results on Monday, July 29th. The insurance provider reported $0.67 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.60 by $0.07. National General had a return on equity of 16.90% and a net margin of 5.44%. The company had revenue of $1.22 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.37 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $0.54 EPS. National General’s revenue for the quarter was up 12.5% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, research analysts anticipate that National General will post 2.7 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, October 16th. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, October 2nd will be paid a $0.05 dividend. This represents a $0.20 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 0.82%. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, October 1st. This is a positive change from National General’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.04. National General’s payout ratio is 7.66%.

About National General

National General Holdings Corp., a specialty personal lines insurance holding company, provides various insurance products and services in the United States, Bermuda, Luxembourg, and Sweden. The company's Property and Casualty segment offers standard, preferred, and nonstandard automobile insurance products; and recreational vehicle (RV) insurance products that carry RV-specific endorsements comprising automatic personal effects coverage, optional replacement cost coverage, RV storage coverage, and full-time liability coverage.

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