Sandler O’Neill Issues an Upgrade on Progressive (NYSE:PGR) Shares. What’s Next?


Progressive (NYSE:PGR) Stock Upgrade

Progressive (NYSE:PGR)’s stock was boosted to a solid Hold by research analysts at Sandler O’Neill. PGR’s past Sell rating is has been discontinued by the brokerage firm.

From a total of 20 analysts covering Progressive (NYSE:PGR) stock, 8 rate it a ”Buy”, 8 a “Sell”, and 8 a ”Hold”. This means that 33% of the ratings are positive. The highest target price is $37 while the lowest target price is $26. The mean of all analyst targets is $31 with a -7.91% below today’s ($31.49) stock price. Progressive was the topic of 7 analyst reports since August 6, 2015 according to the firm StockzIntelligence Inc. Citigroup downgraded shares on December 1 to “Neutral” rating. Credit Suisse downgraded PGR stock in a recent report from November 6 to “Underperform” rating. Finally, JMP Securities initiated the stock with “Market Outperform” rating in a report issued on a September 16.

Approximately 931,307 shares of stock traded hands. Progressive Corp (NYSE:PGR) has risen 15.99% since May 14, 2015 and is uptrending. It has outperformed by 18.26% the S&P500.

The overall sentiment of institutions has increased to 1.42 in Q2 2015. Its up 0.21, from 1.21 in 2015Q2. The ratio is positive, as 35 institutions have sold all the shares of Progressive Corp that they owned while 138 funds have taken shares off the table. 62 funds have purchased shares for the first time while 183 added to their positions. These institutions now hold 434.20 million shares or 5.80% less than the 460.93 million shares they owned in 2015Q2.

The Fund Bonness Enterprises Inc currently is holding shares equating to 18.14% of its total portfolio in Progressive Corp representing a total of 620,608 shares. Another fund,Mcdonald Capital Investors Inc Ca, is holding a total of 3.49 million shares equating to 11.5% of their holdings. Additionally, Van Cleef Asset Managementinc has a 892,584 share stake in Progressive Corp which represents 10.82% of their total portfolio. The Fund, Triple Frond Partners Llc, based out of Washington, has also built up a stake in the stock, which represents a total of 10.44% of their total portfolio. Finally Quantum Capital Management Llc Nj, a fund which is based in the state of New Jersey reported a total holdings of 526,410 shares.

Insider activity is a very important aspect to track on any stock. Going back to March 30, 2015, shareholders of Progressive Corp have witnessed 0 buys, and a total of 3 insider sales equating to a net activity of approximately $1.66 million . Charney M Jeffrey sold 4,500 shares worth approximately $137,250. Voelker Raymond M sold 13,000 shares worth approximately $405,912. Griffith Susan Patricia sold 39,419 shares worth approximately $1.12 million. Sieger Michael D sold 7,211 shares worth approximately $198,742. The company insider Cody William M sold 45,000 shares worth $1.23 million.

The Progressive Corporation is an insurance holding company. The company has a market cap of $18.42 billion. The Company’s insurance subsidiaries and mutual insurance firm affiliate provide personal auto insurance, commercial auto and truck insurance principally for small businesses, and other specialty property-casualty insurance and related services. It has 14.22 P/E ratio. The Company’s property-casualty insurance products protect its clients against losses due to collision and physical damage to their motor vehicles, uninsured and underinsured bodily injury, and liability to others for personal injury or property damage arising out of the use of those vehicles.

According to Zacks Investment Research, “Progressive Corp. is an auto insurance company and a writer of auto insurance through independent agents. Progressive is committed to providing independent agents with a financially strong company that offers competitive products designed specifically for the agency business; a strong national brand that drives consumers to independent agent’s offices; 24-hour, in-person services for them and their customers; and continued innovations in technology. (Company Press Release)”