On Jun 13, Zacks Investment Research upgraded
American Safety Inc.
) to a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).
AMER SAFETY INS (ASI): Free Stock Analysis
HOMEOWNERS CHCE (HCI): Free Stock Analysis
MONTPELIER RE (MRH): Free Stock Analysis
PLATINUM UNDRWT (PTP): Free Stock Analysis
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Why the Upgrade?
American Safety has been witnessing rising earnings estimates on
the back of strong first-quarter 2013 results, which included a
18.9% positive earnings surprise. Moreover, this property and
casualty insurer delivered positive earnings surprises in 2 out
of the last 3 quarters with an average beat of 1.99%.
The year-to-date return for the stock came in at 53.0%, way above
the S&P 500's return of 13.06%.
American Safety reported its first-quarter results on May 8,
2013. Net operating earnings per share came in at 44 cents per
share surpassing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 37 cents per
share. Results also improved 15.8% year over year from 38 cents
per share in the first quarter of 2012.
Top line improved 3.3% year over year to $72.3 million, driven by
strong improvement in net premiums earned, net realized gains and
fee income, partially mitigated by lower investment income.
During the quarter, American Safety repurchased 0.1 million
shares for approximately $2.7 million to enhance investor
Additionally, on Jun 3, Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited
announced a deal to acquire the outstanding shares of American
Safety for $29.25 per share which was at a 22.1% premium to the
closing price of American Safety as of May 31, 2013. The
investment community responded positively to the news and share
price of American Safety hit a 52-week high within a week of the
The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2013 increased 5.3% to $1.58 per
share as 1 of 2 estimates was revised higher over the last 30
days. The estimate also represents a whopping year-over-year
increase of 650%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2014 also
increased approximately 3% to $1.73 as 1 of 2 estimates moved
north over the last 30 days. The estimate translates into a
year-over-year improvement of 9.5%.
Other Stocks to Consider
Among other insurers,
Montpelier Re Holdings Limited
Platinum Underwriters Holdings Ltd.
Homeowners Choice Inc.
) carry a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) and are worth noting.