United Fire & Casualty (UFCS) Hits New 12-Month High and Low at $53.47

United Fire & Casualty (NASDAQ:UFCS) shares hit a new 52-week high and low during mid-day trading on Friday . The stock traded as low as $53.47 and last traded at $53.26, with a volume of 1018 shares trading hands. The stock had previously closed at $51.84.

UFCS has been the subject of several recent analyst reports. BidaskClub upgraded United Fire & Casualty from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Tuesday, March 20th. Sandler O’Neill restated a “buy” rating and set a $53.00 target price on shares of United Fire & Casualty in a research report on Friday, April 6th. ValuEngine lowered United Fire & Casualty from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, February 2nd. Finally, Sidoti upgraded United Fire & Casualty from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, February 15th.

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The stock has a market cap of $1.32 billion, a PE ratio of 43.87 and a beta of 0.46.

United Fire & Casualty (NASDAQ:UFCS) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, May 9th. The insurance provider reported $1.00 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.83 by $0.17. The firm had revenue of $258.66 million during the quarter. United Fire & Casualty had a return on equity of 3.25% and a net margin of 7.11%. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $0.67 EPS.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, June 15th. Investors of record on Friday, June 1st will be issued a $0.31 dividend. This is a positive change from United Fire & Casualty’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.28. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, May 31st. This represents a $1.24 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.34%.

In related news, VP Barrie W. Ernst sold 7,114 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, March 9th. The stock was sold at an average price of $47.43, for a total value of $337,417.02. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, Director Mary K. Quass sold 3,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, May 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $50.95, for a total value of $152,850.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 18,632 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $949,300.40. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 14,599 shares of company stock valued at $692,585 in the last quarter. 6.24% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Comerica Bank boosted its holdings in shares of United Fire & Casualty by 116.4% in the fourth quarter. Comerica Bank now owns 48,632 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $2,141,000 after purchasing an additional 26,154 shares during the period. Earnest Partners LLC boosted its holdings in shares of United Fire & Casualty by 1.0% in the fourth quarter. Earnest Partners LLC now owns 1,412,421 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $64,378,000 after purchasing an additional 13,942 shares during the period. Deutsche Bank AG boosted its holdings in shares of United Fire & Casualty by 61.2% in the fourth quarter. Deutsche Bank AG now owns 75,582 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $3,442,000 after purchasing an additional 28,688 shares during the period. Quantitative Systematic Strategies LLC boosted its holdings in shares of United Fire & Casualty by 122.0% in the fourth quarter. Quantitative Systematic Strategies LLC now owns 11,507 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $524,000 after purchasing an additional 6,324 shares during the period. Finally, Picton Mahoney Asset Management purchased a new stake in shares of United Fire & Casualty in the fourth quarter valued at approximately $771,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 62.23% of the company’s stock.

About United Fire & Casualty

United Fire Group, Inc, together with its subsidiaries, provides insurance protection for individuals and businesses in the United States. The company operates through two segments, Property and Casualty Insurance, and Life Insurance. The Property and Casualty Insurance segment offers commercial and personal lines of property and casualty insurance, as well as assumed reinsurance products.

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