Now Is A Suitable Moment For A Long-Term Purchase Of The Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. (NYSE: HIG)

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Franklin Mutual Advisers LLC recently announced the acquisition of new stake in The Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. (NYSE:HIG). The institutional investor has increased its shareholding in the Financial company by 1.32% to 14.68 million shares with purchase of 0.19 million shares. This fresh investment now brings its stake to 4.10% valued currently at $565.95 million. In addition, Fidelity Management & Research Co… raised its holdings by 0.51 million to 6.54 million shares. And Dimensional Fund Advisors LP has lifted its position by 1.26% or 67452.0 shares – to 5.42 million shares.

With over 4.13 million The Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. (HIG) shares trading Friday and a closing price of $42.32 on the day, the dollar volume was approximately $174.63 million. The shares have shown a positive weekly performance of 2.03% and its price on 07/31/20 gained nearly 4.49%. Currently, there are 358.50M common shares owned by the public and among those 355.96M 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: 18 analysts who have offered their price forecasts for HIG have a consensus price objective of $50.94. The analysts have set the share’s price value over the next 12 months at a high of $64.00 and a low of $43.00 should the stock experience a downside. Incidentally, analysts’ outlook for the The Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. stock is 2.10 for the next 12 months. The average price target is 16.15% above its last price level and an upside to the estimated low will see the stock gain 1.58% over that period. But an upside of 33.88% will see the stock hit the forecast high price target while mean target price for the stock is $51.00.

Insiders at the company have transacted a total of 87 times over the past 12 months, according to data filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). 41 of these insider trades were purchases, accounting for 449,904 shares. Insider sales of the common stock occurred on 46 occasions, with total insider shares sold totaling 330,842 shares.

The top 3 mutual fund holders in The Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. are Vanguard Total Stock Market Index, Invesco Diversified Dividend Fund, and Vanguard Mid Cap Index Fund. Vanguard Total Stock Market Index owns 10.22 million shares of the company’s stock, all valued at over $394.07 million. The company sold -0.18 million shares recently to bring their total holdings to about 2.86% of the shares outstanding. Invesco Diversified Dividend Fund sold -0.29 million shares to see its total holdings shrink to 10.22 million shares valued at over $393.85 million and representing 2.85% of the shares outstanding. Vanguard Mid Cap Index Fund sold -0.55 million shares to bring its total holdings to over 8.86 million shares at a value of $341.43 million. Vanguard Mid Cap Index Fund now owns shares totaling to 2.47% of the shares outstanding.

Shares of The Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. (NYSE: HIG) opened at $42.00, up $1.5 from a prior closing price of $40.50. However, the script later closed the day at $42.32, up 4.49%. The company’s stock has a 5-day price change of 2.03% and 18.58% over the past three months. HIG shares are trading -30.36% year to date (YTD), with the 12-month market performance down to -25.62% lower. It has a 12-month low price of $19.04 and touched a high of $62.75 over the same period. Currently, 4.13 million shares have been traded, compared to an average intraday trading volume of 2.84 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 6.22%, 5.87%, and -12.92% respectively.

Institutional ownership of The Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. (NYSE: HIG) shares accounts for 93.00% of the company’s 358.50M shares outstanding. Mutual fund holders own 37.12%, while other institutional holders and individual stakeholders account for 54.81% and 0.72% respectively.

It has a market capitalization of $15.49B and a beta (3y monthly) value of 0.97. The stock’s trailing 12-month PE ratio is 9.03, while the earnings-per-share (ttm) stands at $4.69. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio at 0.29. Price movements for the stock have been influenced by the stock’s volatility, which stands at 3.03% over the week and 3.42% over the month.

Analysts forecast that The Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. (HIG) will achieve an EPS of $1.09 for the current quarter, $1.22 for the next quarter and $5.19 for 2021. The lowest estimate earnings-per-share for the quarter is $0.84 while analysts give the company a high EPS estimate of $1.36. Comparatively, EPS for the current quarter was $1.5 a year ago. Earnings per share for the fiscal year are expected to increase by 43.00%, and 6.49% over the next financial year. EPS should shrink at an annualized rate of -0.71% over the next five years, compared to 14.00% over the past 5-year period.

If you are looking to buy this stock, then you may note that the average analyst recommendation by 18 brokerage firm advisors rate The Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. (HIG) as a “Moderate Buy” at a consensus score of 2.10. Specifically, 13 Wall Street analysts polled rate the stock as a buy, while 4 of the 18 advise that investors “hold,” and 0 rated it as a “Sell.”

Looking at the support for the HIG, a number of firms have released research notes about the stock. BofA/Merrill stated their Buy rating for the stock in a research note on June 01, 2020, with the firm’s price target at . Morgan Stanley coverage for the The Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. (HIG) stock in a research note released on April 14, 2020 offered a Overweight rating with a price target of . Wells Fargo was of a view on April 01, 2020 that the stock is Overweight, while Atlantic Equities gave the stock Overweight rating on March 24, 2020, issuing a price target of $55. Janney on their part issued Buy rating on March 10, 2020.

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