) strong first-quarter performance, which included a 36% earnings
surprise, helped its shares hit their 52-week high on May 10, 2012.
With a steady uptrend in price, this Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy)
insurance underwriter looks attractive.
Upbeat Earnings and Positive Revisions
On May 9, Amerisafe reported first quarter 2012 operating earnings
per share of 45 cents, exceeding the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 33
cents and the year-ago earnings of 35 cents. Results benefited
primarily from higher premiums and a substantial increase in
The top line of $78.7 million improved 17.5% year over year,
primarily attributable to higher net premiums written and net
realized gains on investments, partly offset by lower fees and
other income. Underwriting profit nearly doubled to $2.8 million in
the first quarter.
In response to the solid quarter, all four estimates for fiscal
2012 were raised in the last 30 days, pushing the Zacks Consensus
Estimate higher by 15% to $1.73. The current estimate represents an
almost 41% upside over $1.23 earned in 2011.
The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2013 advanced 17% to $2.07 as all
four estimates were again revised higher.
Valuation Looks Attractive
Shares of Amerisafe currently trade at a forward P/E of 16.1x, a
33% discount to the peer group average of 24.0x. On a price-to-book
basis, shares currently trade at 1.4x, a 6.7% discount to the peer
group average of 1.5x.
Market Performance & Technicals
The stock has been steadily trading near its 50 and 200-day moving
average since the quarterly report.
Volume is fairly strong, averaging roughly 73,563 daily. The
year-to-date return is at 18.62%, compared to the Nasdaq's return
About the Company
Incorporated in 1985 and headquartered in DeRidder, Louisiana,
Amerisafe is a specialty provider of workers' compensation
insurance. With about 427 employees, the company markets its
products in 35 states and the District of Columbia.
With a market capitalization of $506 million, Amerisafe competes
with Baldwin & Lyons Inc. (
) and SeaBright Holdings Inc. (
AMERISAFE INC (AMSF): Free Stock Analysis
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