Brown & Brown, Inc. (BRO) Rating Increased to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Brown & Brown, Inc. (NYSE:BRO) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research report sent to investors on Tuesday morning.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Brown & Brown have outperformed the Zacks categorized Insurance Broker industry in the last one year. The company’s impressive growth is attributable to its organic and inorganic strength. Each of the segments continues to witness organic growth. A solid performance is boosting cash flow, which should help the company to deploy capital in shareholder-friendly moves. For 2017, the company envisions EBITDAC margins to be about 300–350 bps lower than 2016. However, the company’s increased financial leverage and exposure to currency exchange rate fluctuations are headwinds. Also, dependence on limited clients for commission revenues raises caution. Escalating expenses are likely to hurt margins. With respect to quarterly results, Brown & Brown’s fourth-quarter 2016 earnings beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate on the back of higher revenues as well as commissions and fees.”

A number of other research analysts have also weighed in on BRO. BMO Capital Markets raised Brown & Brown from an underperform rating to a market perform rating and lifted their target price for the company from $37.00 to $46.00 in a report on Monday, December 12th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. upgraded Brown & Brown from an underweight rating to a neutral rating in a research report on Friday, December 16th. Langen Mcalenn reiterated a buy rating on shares of Brown & Brown in a research report on Friday, December 30th. Barclays PLC reiterated a sell rating and set a $39.00 price target on shares of Brown & Brown in a research report on Monday, January 9th. Finally, Wells Fargo & Co reiterated a hold rating on shares of Brown & Brown in a research report on Monday, February 27th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have assigned a hold rating and one has issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. Brown & Brown currently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $37.89.

Shares of Brown & Brown (NYSE:BRO) opened at 43.76 on Tuesday. The firm has a market cap of $6.13 billion, a P/E ratio of 24.04 and a beta of 0.73. Brown & Brown has a 52-week low of $34.23 and a 52-week high of $45.77. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $43.03 and its 200-day moving average is $41.15.

Brown & Brown (NYSE:BRO) last posted its earnings results on Monday, January 23rd. The company reported $0.42 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.41 by $0.01. The business earned $433.60 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $431.30 million. Brown & Brown had a return on equity of 11.57% and a net margin of 14.57%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 7.1% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $0.38 EPS. Analysts anticipate that Brown & Brown will post $1.88 earnings per share for the current year.

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Several hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of BRO. Wells Fargo & Company MN increased its stake in shares of Brown & Brown by 5.3% in the third quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 5,145,479 shares of the company’s stock worth $194,036,000 after buying an additional 259,651 shares during the period. DZ BANK AG Deutsche Zentral Genossenschafts Bank Frankfurt am Main purchased a new stake in Brown & Brown during the fourth quarter worth $402,000. Nationwide Fund Advisors increased its stake in Brown & Brown by 2.6% in the third quarter. Nationwide Fund Advisors now owns 351,425 shares of the company’s stock worth $13,252,000 after buying an additional 9,057 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Fund Advisors increased its stake in Brown & Brown by 3.7% in the third quarter. BlackRock Fund Advisors now owns 4,258,375 shares of the company’s stock worth $160,583,000 after buying an additional 153,539 shares during the last quarter. Finally, First Trust Advisors LP increased its stake in Brown & Brown by 15.8% in the third quarter. First Trust Advisors LP now owns 209,215 shares of the company’s stock worth $7,889,000 after buying an additional 28,596 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 72.27% of the company’s stock.

Brown & Brown Company Profile

Brown & Brown, Inc is a diversified insurance agency, wholesale brokerage, insurance programs and service company. The Company markets and sells insurance products and services in the property, casualty and employee benefits areas. It provides customers with non-investment insurance contracts, as well as other targeted, customized risk management products and services.

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