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EMC Insurance Shares Fall

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) ¿ Shares of EMC Insurance Group Inc. fell Friday, after climbing nearly 16 percent in three days, after the company said incorrect information had been distributed about its stock holdings.

The company filed a statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday saying inaccurate information was distributed about the insurance group's holdings of class B shares of Verisk Analytics Inc., which has announced an initial public offering.

EMC said incorrect information was distributed that it owned more than 4.8 million post-split preoffering shares of Verisk, when that was the amount held by all the companies under the EMC Insurance Co. corporate umbrella. The insurance company holds just over 1 million shares, the filing said.

The EMC Insurance Group's rating was downgraded Friday to "Underperform" from "Market Perform" by Keefe, Bruyette & Woods analyst Robert Farnam. He cited the stock's valuation as the reason.

"The stock has appreciated almost 16 percent over the last three trading sessions, which we believe may be attributed to misperceptions regarding the company's common stock investments," he wrote.

EMC Insurance Group shares fell $3.48, or 14.4 percent, to $20.69. Shares have traded between $16.36 and $31 in the past year.

Copyright 2009 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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