On Oct 15, Zacks Investment Research upgraded
AmTrust Financial Services Inc.
) to a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).
Why the Upgrade?
AmTrust has been experiencing rising earnings estimates on the
back of improved market trends following its robust
second-quarter 2013 results. Moreover, strong capitalization and
improved agency acquisitions are deemed impressive.
Additionally, this specialty property-casualty insurer
delivered positive earnings surprises in the last 4 quarters with
an average beat of 11.6%. AmTrust also outperformed the
year-to-date Nasdaq, which posted an increase of 28.2% against
the robust return of 42.4% clocked by the company.
On Aug 6, AmTrust reported second-quarter 2013 operating
earnings per share of 86 cents, which outpaced both the Zacks
Consensus Estimate of 76 cents and the year-ago quarter number of
A year-over-year robust growth of 60.6% in net earned premiums
along with 86.3% surge in commission and other revenues boosted
the top line, margins and bottom line. Although higher
underwriting and acquisition expenses deteriorated the combined
ratio, capital position remained sturdy with appreciated
asset-base, book value per share and return on equity (ROE).
AmTrust consistently focuses on achieving a diversified
product portfolio through inorganic growth strategies. Such
strategies also enable it to navigate through the current market
volatility and tap healthy market opportunities. Alongside,
AmTrust's creditworthiness, prudent risk management and effective
capital deployment, as reflected by the recent dividend
appreciation, score well with the ratings agencies and
Based on AmTrust's fundamental strength and prudent capital
management, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2013 rose 3.0% to
$3.05 per share in the last 60 days. Moreover, the Most Accurate
Estimate for AmTrust's 2013 earnings stands at $3.23 a share,
resulting in a positive
Meanwhile, the estimate for 2014 inched up 1.1% to $3.45 over
the last 60 days. Furthermore, no downward revision in estimates
was witnessed for both the years.
Other Stocks to Consider
Apart from AmTrust, other outperforming insurers in the
Allied World Assurance Co. Holdings AG
). All these stocks carry a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).
AMTRUST FIN SVC (AFSI): Free Stock Analysis
ALLIED WORLD AS (AWH): Free Stock Analysis
MARKEL CORP (MKL): Free Stock Analysis Report
EVEREST RE LTD (RE): Free Stock Analysis
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