On Dec 27, Zacks Investment Research upgraded
Argo Group International Holdings, Ltd.
) to a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).
Why the Upgrade?
Argo Group has witnessed rising earnings estimate on the back of
solid results and concerted effort to increase shareholders'
value. The property and casualty insurer delivered positive
earnings surprises in the last four quarters, with an average
beat of 30.3%.
In the last reported quarter, Argo Group's operating income of
80 cents per share substantially surpassed the Zacks Consensus
Estimate by 17.6% and by 48.5%.
Bottom-line growth came on the back of company's solid
underwriting actions and also improved investments in people and
Argo Group's total revenue also increased 5.7% year over year to
$364 million primarily due to higher earned premiums.
The solid underwriting actions also improved the combined ratio
of Argo Group which decreased 480 basis points year over year to
97.5% during the third quarter.
Argo Group is also gaining investors' confidence through share
repurchase authorizations. Recently, the company announced a new
share repurchase authorization of $150 million replacing the old
authorization declared in Feb 2011. Moreover, Argo Group
regularly pays quarterly dividends to its shareholders. Its
current quarterly cash dividend of 15 cents a share yields at
The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2013 increased 2.7% to $3.05 per
share over the last 60 days as all the estimates moved north. For
2014, the same moved up by 2% to $3.52 per share over the same
time frame as most of the estimates were revised higher.
Other Stock to Consider
Other top-ranked property and casualty insurers like
Fidelity National Financial Inc.
Cincinnati Financial Corp.
) are worth considering. All these stocks the same Zacks Rank as
ARGO GROUP INTL (AGII): Free Stock Analysis
CINCINNATI FINL (CINF): Free Stock Analysis
FIDELITY NAT FI (FNF): Free Stock Analysis
ALLEGHANY CORP (Y): Free Stock Analysis
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