Zacks Investment Research upgrades American Equity Investment Life (NYSE:AEL) to hold


Investment in American Life stocks (NYSE:AELGet a rating) has been updated by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report released on Tuesday, Zacks.com reports. The brokerage currently has a target price of $37.00 on shares of the financial services provider. Zacks Investment ResearchThe company’s price target would suggest a potential upside of 6.84% from the company’s previous close.

According to Zacks, “American Equity stocks have outperformed the industry in one year. The company’s fixed-index and fixed-rate annuity products that provide principal protection, competitive credited interest rates, tax-deferred growth, guaranteed income for life and alternative payment options allow it to profit, given its targeted demographics. This leading producer of fixed index annuities remains focused on its expansion into middle market credit, real estate, infrastructure debt and agricultural loans. The company’s balance sheet has been strengthened by increased cash. American Equity remains committed to rewarding shareholders through stock buybacks and dividends. However, a sustained low interest rate environment weighed on its earned return. Escalating spending is raising concerns about shrinking margins. A poor return on assets poses a financial risk.

Several other analysts have also recently commented on the company. Raymond James raised its price target on American Equity Investment Life from $40.00 to $44.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a Monday, Jan. 10 research note. Royal Bank of Canada raised its price target on American Equity Investment Life from $41.00 to $47.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a Wednesday, January 12 research note. Morgan Stanley raised its price target on American Equity Investment Life from $40.00 to $41.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a Tuesday, Feb. 22 research note. StockNews.com launched coverage on American Equity Investment Life in a research note on Thursday, March 31. They issued a “holding” rating on the stock. Finally, Jefferies Financial Group launched coverage on American Equity Investment Life in a research note on Tuesday, January 25. They issued a “holding” rating and a price target of $42.00 on the stock. Five equity research analysts rated the stock with a hold rating and six gave the company a buy rating. Based on MarketBeat data, American Equity Investment Life currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $42.18.

ALE traded down $0.21 in midday trading on Tuesday, hitting $34.63. The stock had a trading volume of 9,570 shares, compared to an average volume of 560,577. The stock has a market capitalization of $3.36 billion, a P/E ratio of 4.69 and a beta of 1.10. The company has a debt ratio of 0.11, a quick ratio of 0.20 and a current ratio of 0.17. The company’s fifty-day simple moving average is $38.63 and its two-hundred-day simple moving average is $38.37. American Equity Investment Life has a 52-week low of $27.12 and a 52-week high of $44.49.

Investment in American Life stocks (NYSE:AELGet a rating) last reported quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, May 4. The financial services provider reported EPS of $0.92 for the quarter, meeting analysts’ consensus estimate of $0.92. American Equity Investment Life achieved a return on equity of 7.26% and a net margin of 26.35%. The company posted revenue of $147.80 million for the quarter, versus analyst estimates of $612.85 million. During the same period last year, the company achieved EPS of $0.43. The company’s quarterly revenue was down 84.6% from the same quarter last year. As a group, analysts expect American Equity Investment Life to post EPS of 4.19 for the current fiscal year.

In related news, EVP Ronald James Grensteiner sold 9,188 shares of American Equity Investment Life stock in a trade dated Tuesday, April 12. The stock was sold at an average price of $38.31, for a total transaction of $351,992.28. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 89,039 shares of the company, valued at $3,411,084.09. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, available at the SEC website. Additionally, Director Joyce Ann Chapman sold 3,856 shares of American Equity Investment Life in a trade dated Wednesday, March 9. The stock was sold at an average price of $38.26, for a total value of $147,530.56. Disclosure of this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 29,007 shares of the company valued at $1,112,023 during the last quarter. 1.90% of the shares are currently held by insiders.

Several large investors have recently changed their AEL holdings. First Trust Advisors LP increased its holdings of American Equity Investment Life shares by 35.4% in the first quarter. First Trust Advisors LP now owns 93,246 shares of the financial services provider worth $2,520,000 after acquiring an additional 24,396 shares during the period. Morgan Stanley increased its position in American Equity Investment Life shares by 19.6% in the second quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 394,595 shares of the financial services provider valued at $12,754,000 after buying an additional 64,764 shares last quarter. SG Americas Securities LLC increased its position in American Equity Investment Life shares by 137.1% in the third quarter. SG Americas Securities LLC now owns 12,799 shares of the financial services provider valued at $378,000 after buying an additional 7,400 shares last quarter. Truist Financial Corp acquired a new stake in shares of American Equity Investment Life in the third quarter, valued at approximately $204,000. Finally, Russell Investments Group Ltd. raised its position in shares of American Equity Investment Life by 3.0% in the third quarter. Russell Investments Group Ltd. now owns 273,358 shares of the financial services provider valued at $8,080,000 after purchasing an additional 7,842 shares last quarter. Institutional investors hold 95.15% of the company’s shares.

About American Equity Investment Life (Get a rating)

American Equity Investment Life Holding Company, through its subsidiaries, provides life insurance products in the United States. The company issues index and fixed rate annuities, as well as single premium immediate annuities. It markets its products through independent agents, including independent marketing organizations, broker/dealers, banks and registered investment advisers.

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