First American Financial (NYSE:FAF) Sets New 12-Month High Following Better-Than-Expected Earnings

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First American Financial Corp (NYSE:FAF)’s stock price hit a new 52-week high during trading on Thursday following a stronger than expected earnings report. The stock traded as high as $65.45 and last traded at $64.27, with a volume of 214436 shares trading hands. The stock had previously closed at $62.40.

The insurance provider reported $1.80 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.35 by $0.45. First American Financial had a net margin of 9.76% and a return on equity of 15.21%. The company had revenue of $1.73 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.66 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted $1.27 EPS. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 22.0% compared to the same quarter last year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, March 16th. Shareholders of record on Monday, March 9th will be given a $0.44 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, March 6th. This is an increase from First American Financial’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.42. This represents a $1.76 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.69%. First American Financial’s dividend payout ratio is currently 36.68%.

A number of brokerages have commented on FAF. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods raised shares of First American Financial from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating in a research report on Monday, December 9th. Stephens increased their price objective on shares of First American Financial from $71.00 to $76.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research report on Friday. Finally, ValuEngine raised shares of First American Financial from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Monday, November 4th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have issued a hold rating and five have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $68.86.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of FAF. Usca Ria LLC purchased a new position in shares of First American Financial in the 3rd quarter valued at $29,000. Squar Milner Financial Services LLC grew its position in shares of First American Financial by 208.4% in the 4th quarter. Squar Milner Financial Services LLC now owns 512 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $29,000 after buying an additional 346 shares during the last quarter. Chevy Chase Trust Holdings Inc. purchased a new position in shares of First American Financial in the 4th quarter valued at $31,000. Penserra Capital Management LLC grew its position in shares of First American Financial by 25.0% in the 3rd quarter. Penserra Capital Management LLC now owns 790 shares of the insurance provider’s stock valued at $46,000 after buying an additional 158 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Great Diamond Partners LLC purchased a new position in shares of First American Financial in the 4th quarter valued at $46,000. 83.63% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

The stock’s 50-day moving average is $60.38 and its 200 day moving average is $60.05. The stock has a market capitalization of $7.36 billion, a PE ratio of 12.92 and a beta of 0.85.

First American Financial Company Profile (NYSE:FAF)

First American Financial Corporation, through its subsidiaries, provides financial services. It operates through Title Insurance and Services, and Specialty Insurance segments. The Title Insurance and Services segment issues title insurance policies on residential and commercial property, as well as offers related products and services.

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