Growing Through Challenges? – Assured Guaranty Ltd. (NYSE: AGO)


The Vanguard Group, Inc. recently announced the acquisition of new stake in Assured Guaranty Ltd. (NYSE:AGO). The institutional investor has increased its shareholding in the Financial company by 2.03% to 9.17 million shares with purchase of 0.18 million shares. This fresh investment now brings its stake to 10.55% valued currently at $237.68 million. In addition, Putnam Investment Management LLC raised its holdings by 0.31 million to 7.63 million shares. And Thrivent Investment Management, I… has lifted its position by 14.68% or 0.58 million shares – to 4.56 million shares.

With over 0.54 million Assured Guaranty Ltd. (AGO) shares trading Monday and a closing price of $23.10 on the day, the dollar volume was approximately $12.39 million. The shares have shown a negative weekly performance of -4.23% and its price on 07/13/20 gained nearly 0.26%. Currently, there are 92.60M common shares owned by the public and among those 79.63M shares have been available to trade.

An analysis of what Wall Street brokers have to say about the expected price targets for this stock gives us this picture: 5 analysts who have offered their price forecasts for AGO have a consensus price objective of $56.75. The analysts have set the share’s price value over the next 12 months at a high of $66.00 and a low of $46.00 should the stock experience a downside. But an upside of 65.0% will see the stock hit the forecast high price target while mean target price for the stock is $57.50.

Insiders at the company have transacted a total of 91 times over the past 12 months, according to data filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). 50 of these insider trades were purchases, accounting for 714,753 shares. Insider sales of the common stock occurred on 41 occasions, with total insider shares sold totaling 324,036 shares.

The top 3 mutual fund holders in Assured Guaranty Ltd. are Putnam Equity Income Fund, Vanguard Total Stock Market Index, and Vanguard Small Cap Index Fund. Putnam Equity Income Fund owns 4.11 million shares of the company’s stock, all valued at over $106.64 million. The company sold 45910.0 shares recently to bring their total holdings to about 4.73% of the shares outstanding. Vanguard Total Stock Market Index sold 26530.0 shares to see its total holdings shrink to 2.62 million shares valued at over $67.82 million and representing 3.01% of the shares outstanding. Vanguard Small Cap Index Fund sold 20269.0 shares to bring its total holdings to over 2.35 million shares at a value of $60.84 million. Vanguard Small Cap Index Fund now owns shares totaling to 2.70% of the shares outstanding.

Shares of Assured Guaranty Ltd. (NYSE: AGO) opened at $23.34, up $0.3 from a prior closing price of $23.04. However, the script later closed the day at $23.10, up 0.26%. The company’s stock has a 5-day price change of -4.23% and -24.11% over the past three months. AGO shares are trading -52.88% year to date (YTD), with the 12-month market performance down to -47.07% lower. It has a 12-month low price of $13.64 and touched a high of $50.77 over the same period. Currently, 0.54 million shares have been traded, compared to an average intraday trading volume of 895.75K shares. The stock is trading above its simple moving averages at the SMA20, SMA50, and SMA200, as the current price level is off by -6.15%, -12.29%, and -39.89% respectively.

Institutional ownership of Assured Guaranty Ltd. (NYSE: AGO) shares accounts for 99.30% of the company’s 92.60M shares outstanding. Mutual fund holders own 45.94%, while other institutional holders and individual stakeholders account for 52.84% and 37.72% respectively.

It has a market capitalization of $1.91B and a beta (3y monthly) value of 1.22. The stock’s trailing 12-month PE ratio is 7.90, while the earnings-per-share (ttm) stands at $2.92. The company has a PEG of 2.63 and the debt-to-equity ratio at 0.20. Price movements for the stock have been influenced by the stock’s volatility, which stands at 5.85% over the week and 5.34% over the month.

Analysts forecast that Assured Guaranty Ltd. (AGO) will achieve an EPS of $0.69 for the current quarter, $0.73 for the next quarter and $3.33 for 2021. The lowest estimate earnings-per-share for the quarter is $0.55 while analysts give the company a high EPS estimate of $0.79. Comparatively, EPS for the current quarter was $1.38 a year ago. Earnings per share for the fiscal year are expected to decrease by -13.50%, and 30.53% over the next financial year. EPS should grow at an annualized rate of 3.00% over the next five years, compared to -8.50% over the past 5-year period.

Specifically, 5 Wall Street analysts polled rate the stock as a buy, while 0 of the 5 advise that investors “hold,” and 0 rated it as a “Sell.”

Looking at the support for the AGO, a number of firms have released research notes about the stock. Keefe Bruyette stated their Outperform rating for the stock in a research note on December 20, 2017, with the firm’s price target at $47. Keefe Bruyette coverage for the Assured Guaranty Ltd. (AGO) stock in a research note released on February 28, 2017 offered a Mkt Perform rating with a price target of. MKM Partners was of a view on November 16, 2015 that the stock is Buy, while UBS gave the stock Buy rating on November 10, 2015, issuing a price target of $31- $33. UBS on their part issued Buy rating on July 07, 2014.


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