Zacks Investment Research Upgrades Loews (L) to Buy

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Loews (NYSE:L) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note published on Tuesday, Zacks.com reports. The brokerage currently has $57.00 price objective on the insurance provider’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Loews have outperformed the industry year to date.   Loews Hotels is on growth track as most properties continue to post solid operational results. CNA Financial remains focused on delivering stellar results, riding on its core competency. The Boardwalk unit is poised to capitalize on rising exports of natural gas and pipeline exports to Mexico as well as high industrial demand for natural gas and liquids. A sturdy balance sheet drives regular buybacks. However, soft ultra-deepwater and deepwater markets continue to weigh on Diamond Offshore results.  Nonetheless, with new drilling rigs contracted through 2019 and demand for oil rising, Loews is optimistic about its medium and long-term progress. Loews first-quarter 2019 EPS beat estimates and increased year over year. The improvement stemmed from higher earnings contributed by CNA Financial and Boardwalk Pipeline and higher net investment income.”

A number of other analysts also recently weighed in on the stock. Scotiabank reissued an average rating and issued a $68.00 price target on shares of Loews in a report on Friday, February 22nd. Barclays reissued an average rating and issued a $72.00 price target on shares of Loews in a report on Thursday, February 21st. Five research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the company. The company currently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $59.67.

NYSE L opened at $50.16 on Tuesday. The company has a quick ratio of 0.34, a current ratio of 0.34 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.51. The firm has a market cap of $15.50 billion, a P/E ratio of 17.66 and a beta of 0.69. Loews has a 1 year low of $42.06 and a 1 year high of $52.35.

Loews (NYSE:L) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Monday, April 29th. The insurance provider reported $1.27 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.96 by $0.31. The business had revenue of $3.76 billion during the quarter. Loews had a net margin of 5.17% and a return on equity of 4.72%. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $0.80 earnings per share. On average, equities research analysts expect that Loews will post 3.2 earnings per share for the current year.

In other Loews news, Director Ann E. Berman sold 1,399 shares of the stock in a transaction on Monday, March 4th. The shares were sold at an average price of $48.24, for a total value of $67,487.76. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 1,500 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $72,360. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, VP Marc A. Alpert sold 4,767 shares of the stock in a transaction on Tuesday, April 30th. The shares were sold at an average price of $50.95, for a total transaction of $242,878.65. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders sold 34,333 shares of company stock valued at $1,633,358. Insiders own 14.20% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Legacy Bridge LLC acquired a new position in shares of Loews in the 1st quarter valued at $25,000. Clean Yield Group acquired a new position in shares of Loews in the 4th quarter valued at $39,000. JOYN Advisors Inc. raised its stake in shares of Loews by 338.6% in the 4th quarter. JOYN Advisors Inc. now owns 943 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $43,000 after buying an additional 728 shares in the last quarter. Stamos Capital Partners L.P. acquired a new position in shares of Loews in the 4th quarter valued at $53,000. Finally, JNBA Financial Advisors acquired a new position in shares of Loews in the 4th quarter valued at $55,000. Institutional investors own 65.93% of the company’s stock.

About Loews

Loews Corporation, through its subsidiaries, provides commercial property and casualty insurance in the United States and internationally. It operates through CNA Financial Corporation; Diamond Offshore Drilling, Inc; Boardwalk Pipeline Partners, LP; and Loews Hotels Holding Corporation segments. The company offers specialty insurance products, such as management and professional liability insurance coverages and products; surety and fidelity bonds; and warranty and alternative risk services.

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