Value Hunters: Look To Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. (NYSE: AJG)

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BlackRock Fund Advisors recently announced the acquisition of new stake in Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. (NYSE:AJG). The institutional investor has increased its shareholding in the Financial company by 0.15% to 12.12 million shares with purchase of 18046.0 shares. This fresh investment now brings its stake to 6.39% valued currently at $1.14 billion. In addition, Baillie Gifford & Co. raised its holdings by 0.43 million to 7.2 million shares. And JPMorgan Investment Management, I… has lifted its position by 0.43% or 25203.0 shares – to 5.92 million shares.

With over 0.73 million Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. (AJG) shares trading Monday and a closing price of $98.22 on the day, the dollar volume was approximately $71.75 million. The shares have shown a positive weekly performance of 1.38% and its price on 07/13/20 lost nearly -0.93%. Currently, there are 188.70M common shares owned by the public and among those 187.76M 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: 13 analysts who have offered their price forecasts for AJG have a consensus price objective of $106.36. The analysts have set the share’s price value over the next 12 months at a high of $120.00 and a low of $88.00 should the stock experience a downside. Incidentally, analysts’ outlook for the Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. stock is 1.80 for the next 12 months. The average price target is 7.65% above its last price level and an upside to the estimated low will see the stock lose -11.61% over that period. But an upside of 18.15% will see the stock hit the forecast high price target while mean target price for the stock is $106.00.

Insiders at the company have transacted a total of 110 times over the past 12 months, according to data filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). 55 of these insider trades were purchases, accounting for 526,125 shares. Insider sales of the common stock occurred on 55 occasions, with total insider shares sold totaling 422,511 shares.

The top 3 mutual fund holders in Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. are Vanguard Total Stock Market Index, Vanguard Mid Cap Index Fund, and Vanguard 500 Index Fund. Vanguard Total Stock Market Index owns 5.38 million shares of the company’s stock, all valued at over $507.09 million. The company sold 32380.0 shares recently to bring their total holdings to about 2.84% of the shares outstanding. Vanguard Mid Cap Index Fund bought 27357.0 shares to see its total holdings expand to 4.87 million shares valued at over $458.95 million and representing 2.57% of the shares outstanding. Vanguard 500 Index Fund sold 8440.0 shares to bring its total holdings to over 3.81 million shares at a value of $359.06 million. Vanguard 500 Index Fund now owns shares totaling to 2.01% of the shares outstanding.

Shares of Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. (NYSE: AJG) opened at $99.70, up $0.56 from a prior closing price of $99.14. However, the script later closed the day at $98.22, down -0.93%. The company’s stock has a 5-day price change of 1.38% and 17.53% over the past three months. AJG shares are trading 3.14% year to date (YTD), with the 12-month market performance up to 6.96% higher. It has a 12-month low price of $65.09 and touched a high of $109.46 over the same period. Currently, 0.73 million shares have been traded, compared to an average intraday trading volume of 1.26 million shares. The stock is trading above its simple moving averages at the SMA20, SMA50, and SMA200, as the current price level is off by 1.32%, 5.47%, and 6.65% respectively.

Institutional ownership of Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. (NYSE: AJG) shares accounts for 84.90% of the company’s 188.70M shares outstanding. Mutual fund holders own 40.12%, while other institutional holders and individual stakeholders account for 44.42% and 3.25% respectively.

It has a market capitalization of $18.33B and a beta (3y monthly) value of 0.75. The stock’s trailing 12-month PE ratio is 28.18, while the earnings-per-share (ttm) stands at $3.49. The company has a PEG of 3.13 and a Quick Ratio of 1.10 with the debt-to-equity ratio at 0.97. Price movements for the stock have been influenced by the stock’s volatility, which stands at 1.98% over the week and 2.72% over the month.

Analysts forecast that Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. (AJG) will achieve an EPS of $0.72 for the current quarter, $0.83 for the next quarter and $4.26 for 2021. The lowest estimate earnings-per-share for the quarter is $0.63 while analysts give the company a high EPS estimate of $0.86. Comparatively, EPS for the current quarter was $0.65 a year ago. Earnings per share for the fiscal year are expected to increase by 2.00%, and 6.23% over the next financial year. EPS should shrink at an annualized rate of 9.02% over the next five years, compared to 12.30% over the past 5-year period.

Looking at the support for the AJG, a number of firms have released research notes about the stock. Deutsche Bank stated their Buy rating for the stock in a research note on July 07, 2020, with the firm’s price target at $120. RBC Capital Mkts coverage for the Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. (AJG) stock in a research note released on March 26, 2020 offered a Outperform rating with a price target of $98. Raymond James was of a view on March 23, 2020 that the stock is Strong Buy, while Keefe Bruyette gave the stock Outperform rating on March 17, 2020, issuing a price target of $107- $110. Credit Suisse on their part issued Outperform rating on August 07, 2018.

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